One of my biggest hopes is that Layla will look to me for guidance and take my advice to heart when she is a teenager. I made mistakes that I paid for dearly. I also have had things happen to me that were out of my control. Each experience continues to change who I am just a little bit. I make better decisions now because I know what regret feels like. I know my actions have consequences. I know I’m not the center of the universe.
It’s funny to me now, thinking about beliefs I held as a teenager. Thinking I would believe in the same things, have the same friends, be the same person. The world seemed a lot smaller living under my parents’ roof. Now it’s huge and scary and much worse things have happened than my friend talking about me behind my back. And I’ve learned how fragile life can be which instantly puts things into perspective.
Each person grows at their own pace, which I believe is a big reason friendships don’t always last. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, two people who used to be close just can’t relate any longer. Two people have two different life experiences that can change the way they see themselves and the world, and then there’s no going back. It’s not really about who is “right” or “mature”… It just changes things, and it’s okay to let go.
Having a baby is one of those things that changes you. I know people who don’t have kids hate hearing the phrase, “you’ll understand one day when you have a kid.” (I totally hated this phrase pre-baby). But it’s so so so true! It’s one of the only experiences that can turn you into a selfless and sacrificing person overnight. You may still desire to do the same things you did before you had kids but can’t, or they may become silly things you can’t believe you spent time and money on in the first place. Having a kid is so utterly time consuming and exhausting (yet ridiculously rewarding) that I can only make time for what (and who) I absolutely want to, if I’m lucky. Basically what I’m trying to say is, a baby forces you to cut the crap out quickly.
I know Layla will make her own mistakes and learn her own lessons. I just wish there was a way she could learn what is important in life without having to experience heartache over it all. I hope she can recognize good people and stay away from ones who aren’t. I hope I can teach her how to be a sensitive person and a good friend. I hope she is grateful and humble and kind. I want her to follow through on her dreams. And I hope I can be there for her enough when life knocks her down, because it seems like you just can’t escape that. Each day is a special gift, so above everything else, I hope I can show her how to love each other deeply.