To the world changers, the next generation, the ones that look at us and call us “mom”, the ones that stumble and fall and want to do good, the ones that we battle with, the ones that we love unconditionally, the ones that just need to hear the words of truth..
So you see, there’s this letter circulating on Facebook that a teacher wrote to her students about how she didn’t want them to fret about taking the standardized tests. In it she wrote about how they were so much greater than those tests and that their measure cannot be worth by a number put on a piece of paper. She beautifully lists strengths that simply cannot be categorized by sitting in front of a test booklet with a number two pencil and a timer and the words begin being stated.
Well, I so completely times infinity squared agree. Like agree to the point of tears filling the corners of my tired mom eyes. They’d fall, but I think I already shed today’s quota of mom tears and they were probably because there was chocolate milk that spilled behind the table and I stepped in it and a couple of other things that sometimes pushes us moms to the edge and so often it is silly little things. Like fighting (try to not fight over little things, perhaps).
That letter made me think. And when I think, well, I write – so today, tonight, now I wanted to write to you, about this whole idea of being perfect and measuring up. But more than that, I wanted to write you to tell you you are enough. Yes enough. And that sometimes all those measurements out there don’t define the real you. You’re probably a bit surprised to even hear that from especially because it probably seems we’re almost always on your case to do better.
So yes, yes, yes…us moms (and dads) all want you to do your best. Do not ever think that we put the bar too low because we don’t try. We’re talking about doing our work, trying hard, pushing ourselves and trying again. But listen, when I say do your best I’m saying your best. Not the best that your friends are doing or what everyone thinks is the best or what the world says is your best. But truly your best. Sometimes we’re awesome at stuff and sometimes we just stumble and fall.
Falling doesn’t define worth.
Falling and failing and tripping and all of that is often where we discover what we’re good at – because we don’t stay down. We stand up.
So maybe you’re not good at basketball or piano or painting or martial arts or science or keeping your room clean or handing in every single paper or your brother or sister seems to do awesome at anything he touches whatever – but the truth is you are good at something. You may be compassionate or empathetic or the most awesome sibling out there. That stuff matters to me. Sometimes the stuff we’re good at can be hard to even articulate. But you, you add intrinsic beautiful value to this world.
Life would be lonely without you.
So let me tell you that matters.
What matters is you.
Yes you, the one that sometimes we get after because you left your coat on the floor. Do you know why we get after you? Because we know you can remember to hang it up and that by remembering you will learn to take the extra step. I know that there are times where we all butt heads (and it’s often over Minecraft) but that’s because we all see unbelievable opportunity in you that you have yet to discover. That’s what we as parents do – we fight and push and believe in the awesome in you that you are learning to embrace.
This world is hard.
There are many things and people that will try to grade you and categorize you and put you into a box. There are so many measurements where you’ll feel pressure to squish into. Trust me, you will. You’ll be told you need to look a certain way or make this much money or get these kinds of grades or whatever you think you’ll be told you need to do. I know that. I deal with it. Remember how I told you I always write letters and notes to moms about being perfect? It’s because that pressure doesn’t go away for us parents.
So when you go to bed at night I want you to remember a couple things.
1. Always be grateful. Look every day for something good that happened.
2. Be kind. I know this is hard, especially when people bug you, but be kind.
3. Fight the right battles. Not every battle, but the right ones, the ones that matter.
4. Work hard and do your best.
5. You are enough. Yes this, because enough cannot be measured.
You are enough.
Because it can be easy to go to bed thinking that you simply aren’t enough. That maybe I’d be loved more if I did this or people would like me if I did that or anything. But your worth cannot be graded or quantified. You are enough because you have a unique and beautiful spot in this world that only you can fulfill. You are enough and knowing that deep down kicks all those external measurements out.
You have lives to change and bless and be.
I’m so proud of you.
We’re so proud of you.
You are loved.
And because you are you – you will do amazing things.
I cannot wait to see.
So don’t let the measurements define you.
Because awesome cannot ever be measured.
(and all the moms and dads out there who think that you are awesome too.)