Monday, August 22, 2016

My Letter to Liam on Graduation

Well, my oldest went off to college. Actually we took him there and left him which feels as horrible as that sounds. It's not like we dropped him off in the desert and told him to figure out how to get home. We carefully planned our weekend, overloaded 2 vehicles, and with all the blood sweat and tears we had, drove to South and did what had been done thousands of times before. We set up our son's room, made sure he had plenty of toilet paper and dorm room food, and I, being Mom, set up his bed (..."because that's the mom's job!"). No one argued with me. No one dared argue with me. All weekend. Or since really. Sweet Mary has fared well, given her brother is away. They talk and text a lot. She has actually been rather chatty and has explained that, "someone has to fill Liam's spot while he's gone."

It's hard letting your child go, even though you prepare them for this. You raise them to make this world better and trust that God has them, but your heart aches like nothing anyone can explain really. I thought for certain I would have pages and pages to write soon. I may. But for now, and with Liam's permission, I am posting my Letter to Liam on his Graduation.

So... Here was my letter to Liam:

To Liam on Graduation Day,


When you were born, I calculated the year you would graduate: 2016. I remember chuckling to myself as it seemed so far away. There were times I thought I was ready for you to grow up just a little; dress yourself maybe or maybe even run to the store for milk, or take Mary to or from practice. No mom can tell another mom that those days come too quickly, that your kids grow up in the blink of an eye and that you literally lie in bed awake with tears streaming down your cheeks wishing for a do-over so you can do better, be a better example, give better advice, spend more time with them, or hold them longer.


Praying for do-overs doesn’t work. I know. I’ve prayed for them. Many times. But we get new days, every day, and for that I’m grateful. While I can’t slow time down I can take a little of that time now to tell you some things that I know you’ve heard a million times over the last 18 years, but I want you to take these to heart. Let me start this by saying that if all the children in the whole wide world were lined up, I would pick you and Mary Abbott again. I can’t believe I have been so blessed to be your mom. I am, indeed, the luckiest woman on earth for that blessing.


With that, as you go out into this great big world….


  • Always be kinder than you have to be
  • Dress a little nicer than necessary
  • Remember that everyone has a story and get to know as many as you can
  • Open doors for ladies; including your mom and sister
  • Use a napkin
  • Wear the bike helmet
  • Taste your food before you salt it
  • Never turn down a gift from a child
  • Always read to a child if you have the opportunity
  • Say “Thank you” a lot
  • Buy good shoes
  • Brush and floss everyday
  • Smile first and often
  • Be kind to people in customer service, it really throws them off
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Remember what you put ‘out there’ (in cyber world) never goes away. Be careful
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you are back
  • Return grocery carts to the proper place
  • Call your parents just to say hi
  • Call your grandparents just to say hi
  • Call your sister just to say hi
  • Remember a bad day does not mean a bad life
  • Speak to people who aren’t expecting your kindness
  • Get to know faculty and staff at school and where you work. They are ALL important
  • Remember every single person makes a difference in someone else’s life and treat them with that respect
  • Remember that every person is someone’s baby
  • Be kind to animals, elderly people, and wait staff
  • Never ever make fun of anyone
  • Laugh with people, but not at them
  • Wear cologne but not too much
  • Find a good church
  • Be ok spending time alone
  • Find a girl that knows how to fish
  • Find a girl that is confident but not cocky or high maintenance
  • Use your manners
  • Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see
  • Read your Bible. A lot.
  • Be careful about movies you watch. Trash in, trash out.
  • Shake hands with people when you meet them, look them in the eye, and repeat their name
  • Learn how to cook at least 3 good gourmet meals
  • Iron your shirts
  • Be humble
  • Be safe
  • Be silly
  • Do not ride in the car with a driver who has been drinking
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Treat ladies the way you would want your sister (or mom) treated
  • Stand up for yourself
  • Stand up for what you believe is right
  • Use your voice for those who don’t know how to yet
  • Remember it’s ok to be afraid
  • Remember it’s ok to be angry
  • It’s not ok to hurt people
  • Be true to yourself
  • Clean up after yourself
  • When you visit someone’s house, leave your area cleaner than when you got there
  • Keep the bathroom mirror clean
  • If you don’t want it shared, don’t say it, post it, or write it
  • Never be afraid to call home or come home
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Drive slower than you think you have to. You’ll notice more.
  • If someone rides your bumper, let them pass
  • Never engage in road rage
  • Save money
  • Never chase anyone, chase God and find a girl who chases God
  • Never squeal your tires on purpose in a public place
  • Say you’re sorry if you are but not just to smooth things over
  • Ask people if they want to talk, you’ll be amazed when people open up
  • If you say you’re going to pray for someone, do. Ask them later how they’re doing
  • Compliment people, honestly and carefully, but freely
  • Be organized
  • Go to bed clean, you’ll sleep better
  • Pray (you’ll sleep better)
  • Keep a journal of things for which you’re thankful, even if it is simply a cup of coffee that morning
  • Trust your instincts
  • NEVER accept a ride from someone you don’t know
  • Making someone else look bad, never makes you look good
  • Keep a First-Aid kit and spare tire in your car
  • Keep a phone charger in your car
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to interviews and appointments
  • If you need to correct someone, make sure you tell them something positive as well
  • Research your heritage
  • Shop around for the best deal on things
  • Do your research before buying
  • Keep letters and cards from people you care about. You’ll look over them again. I promise.
  • Take long walks in parks, the woods, and on beaches
  • Do karaoke
  • Join a cause
  • Read
  • Keep a calendar
  • When you feel like you’re drowning, your lifeguard walked on water
  • Always walk to the door to pick up your date
  • Always make sure whoever you are taking home is inside safe before you drive away
  • Set healthy boundaries without apologies
  • Keep a rein on your temper. You can’t unsay or undo.
  • Know now how smart you are and do well in school. It’s really hard to go back
  • Spend time with your grandparents while you can, and get to know their stories
  • Find out how your grandparents met; how your parents met
  • Be grateful for the little things, like a pillow to lay your head on at night, and soft blankets
  • Keep your hair neat
  • Make sure you smell nice
  • Don’t wait until you’re really sick to go to the doctor, listen to your body
  • Use good phone manners and talk with energy and a smile. People can feel it
  • Keep your bathroom and kitchen clean
  • Keep your home tidy enough that if anyone surprise visits you, you won’t be embarrassed
  • Put down the electronic devices for a while
  • Go horseback riding…. At least once
  • Hug people
  • Never assume things about people. Ask.
  • Ask God for guidance and then listen
  • Remember you are smarter than you realize
  • You have a killer smile. Use it for good.
  • Getting farther in life is a matter of simply doing
  • We don’t quit
  • Your mom will always believe in you
  • You will always have a home to come to
  • Live big
  • Love bigger
  • Forgive people, but never be a doormat to anyone
  • Remember that you’re the King’s kid
  • And on earth, you’re my boy...always


“Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind.You have been created to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.”
~ Andy Andrews


I love you more than you can imagine,

Mom


Turning pages to new chapters,
Becky
August 22, 2016

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