My Mom Moment today is all about daughter 2, Riley. Riley turned 17 on May 26th. That means she will be 18 next year! That means she is getting closer to leaving and that makes me feel scared and sad and excited for her. It is also a time for evaluation and preparation and advice. In lieu of that, here are my 17 wishes for Riley for next year...and for life.
Wish #1-- Real Beauty
Last week one of your friends told you that you had love handles and you cried. I think it is impossible for someone who is 5'6" and barely 100 lbs. to have love handles...you definitely don't. But, I worry about all the pressure that you feel, as do most American girls and women, to be super thin. Love your body and keep it healthy, and you will always feel beautiful, love handles or not.
Wish #2--Wise Initiative
Your initiative is amazing, but requires some wisdom. Your motto is definitely "it is better to ask forgiveness than permission." It gets you in trouble some times, but I think that most of the time it works to your advantage. It won't always, though, so be smart about what you decide to plow ahead on.
Wish #3--Financial Savvy
I wish I could buy you everything you want, but I still wouldn't, because I wish more that you learn thriftiness, money management, hard work, and the joy of owning a few things that you really love.
Wish #4--Life Experiences
You really live your life...I hope that you always will. Embrace every good opportunity and experience that comes your way and learn to value experiences over things.
Wish #5--Great Relationships
You have so much to offer to others...friendship, kindness, leadership, faith, love, goodness...and others have much to offer you. Be a good friend, meet new people, and establish meaningful relationships. They are the best part of life. The more you have, the happier you will be.
Value education. Next to your relationships, education will bring you the greatest opportunities for happiness. It changes everything...the way you think and feel and communicate and progress.
Always have faith in something bigger than this world...faith in a Heavenly Father who loves you and has a purpose for your life and a hope that you will return to Him.
Your life is full of abundance. Be grateful for life, family, friends, beauty, goodness, blessings... everything.
Wish #9--A Sense of Security
I wish that I could make you feel completely secure in a very insecure world. The world can be frightening, but it is also so amazing...don't let your fears keep you from great adventures.
You are so loved. I hope that you will always have good people in your life to love and nurture. You have so much love to give...give it to those who will value it and give it back.
Your heart is sensitive and full of compassion for others. From your helping the homeless crusades to crying when others are mean to a boy on the bus, you really care. You gather the weak and give them strength. Fill your life with opportunities to share your gift.
Wish #12--Hard Work
Work is good...it will make you strong, and skilled, and accomplished, and fulfilled.
Fun is even better! It is what you get to do after the work, and it is just important as the work.
I hope you will always create...beauty, art, food, life, a home, words, whatever brings you joy. Creating something is a way to say to the world, "I was here!"
Be strong, make the right choice, protect your values, defend the weak, and ask for help. Surround yourself with people that will help you stay strong because they share your values.
Take care of yourself and your things and own the consequences for the choices you make. Don't rely on others for success, happiness, or a sense of fulfillment...but recognize that asking for help is sometimes the responsible thing to do.
I wish you the very deep and very real sense of joy. It comes from living a life with purpose and meaning and love. It comes from recognizing the difference between what lasts and what doesn't. It comes from good people, good food, and good experiences. It comes from real love.
17 Wishes for an amazing 17 year-old. I love you, Riley.