In Her Words
Just in Case
If I’m not around, here’s some of what I want my children to know
-Julie Ryan Evans
My c-section is just days away, and while I’m ready to meet this little girl, I’m dreading the actual procedure. This pregnancy has been remarkably and surprisingly uncomplicated, yet I still worry about something going wrong during the surgery.
I’m optimistic by nature, but also a worrier with a writer’s imagination. Too often I let my mind run wild with worst-case scenarios about leaving behind my children – one who I love more than anything I could have ever imagined and another who I haven’t even met yet.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been consumed with these fears, nor I’m sure, will it be the last. For the past five years, every time I’ve prepared to get on a plane without my son, I’ve felt the same way. I think of all the things I wouldn’t be able to tell, show and teach him as he grows. I think of my husband marrying another woman and how she wouldn’t do things the way I want them done. And I cry.
And usually through the tears, I start writing … thoughts and things I would want him to know if, God forbid, something happens to me. Things others may forget to make important. While it’s a little morbid and the words contain a lot of clichés, it’s something that helps me.
So as I prepare for this birth, here’s a list I put together for both of them. It’s a small and very incomplete list, but it’s something … just in case.
- Care about people and what makes them unique.
- Ask questions.
- Be kind.
- Love to learn for the sake of learning.
- Read voraciously.
- Travel as much as possible.
- Without good health, nothing else matters. Take care of yourself.
- Buy the best quality your budget allows.
- Be passionate about life and your interests.
- Don’t let a relationship define you.
- Don’t ever settle.
- Don’t be afraid to fail.
- Appreciate the arts and respect nature.
- Count your blessings every single day.
- You don’t have to fight every battle; sometimes it’s OK to let the other guy win … or at least let him think that he does.
- Love passionately and wholly even if your heart might get broken.
- Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it.
- Don’t waste too much time planning because life usually doesn’t care about your plans.
- Don’t ever use religion to justify hatred or bigotry.
- Be confident, yet humble.
- Realize how small your world is, and see beyond it.
- Always look your best; appearance does matter.
- Learn to love exercise – it’s the secret to much health (mental and physical) and happiness.
- Listen well.
- Be honest with yourself about who you are and what you do.
- Learn to make things work and know that they always work out the way they’re supposed to.
- Don’t accept something blindly just because a person in authority tells you it’s so.
- Always strive to be the best at whatever you do, but don’t quit when you’re not.
- Good manners and good grammar are nonnegotiable.
- Family is precious.
- Friends should be treasured.
- People change.
- Sometimes friendships end or need to be ended, and that’s okay.
- Have courage to stand up and do the right thing. Always.
- Whatever you chose to do, do it passionately or it’s not worth doing.
There’s so much, much more to add, but hopefully, I will have many, many more years to continue adding to this list and to my children’s lives.
I’m curious, do you keep a list like this? What are the most important messages/qualities you want to install in your children–whether they’re already born or not?