Raising you has been the greatest gift

From the time you were wee I always hoped you would one day attend university.

I have tried to let you choose your own path, but I do think a Bachelor’s degree sets one up well for life. It’s an education that allows you to reflect on the past and learn from it, to think critically and train your brain and to look to the future with thoughtful conversations and class discussions.

I have taught you to challenge authority – not for the sake of being antagonistic but because leaders make mistakes and blindly following, well, we know where that leads.

You do that. Challenging your parents mostly! But that’s OK.

I’m so excited for your future, but boy will I miss you in the house every day.

When you were a baby, your aunt gave me a quote that I kept in your bedroom: “Quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep; I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”

I tried to live by that. Giving you all the time you needed when you were young, knowing one day this day would come and you would leave home. So when you asked me to play – Rescue Heroes, or Snakes and Ladders or catch – more often than not I stopped what I was doing and played. It was as good for me as it was for you.

I loved reading to you. The same books over and over until I memorized some of them and can still recite them even now.

As you grew, you became the one teaching me on many occasions.

I reflect back on the many hours of mini sticks we played, of kicking the soccer ball up and down the hall, then outside, bending it like Beckham, even if it broke the glass in the garage door.

Sports have always been your passion, particularly soccer, and have given you so many great opportunities, from OFSAA medals to new friendships to taking on leadership roles. All of your commitment to sport – drills, constant repetition for muscle memory, pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion – has paid off and you are now on the varsity soccer team. Congratulations.

Just a little advice, if you will humour me. And humour is where I want to begin.

Your kindergarten teacher once noted you would pick up on her sarcastic remarks and laugh. Always maintain that sense of humour and never take yourself too seriously.

Spend some time each day in silence. Living in residence will be noisy. Your phone will be constantly chiming. Life will be busy and full. Silence is where creativity begins.

Be thankful. Not everyone will have the opportunities you have. There will always be others with less than you and with more. So be generous as well.

Go outside and enjoy nature. It is good for the soul and will ground you.

Call home or text. Parents sometimes can provide guidance and will always be glad to hear your voice or see your message.

Smile often, even if you feel rotten. It provides a small boost to get you through the day with a promise the next one will be better.

Be kind and try to leave everyone you meet a little brighter. See the similarity in humans, rather than the differences.

There is some dental floss in your care package. Don’t forget to use it. Good habits serve us throughout life.

I want you to know you will always be my little boy and raising you has been the greatest gift of my life.

Thank you for making this life what I dreamed it could be.

And now you dream young man. Dream big and dream often.

And as I’ve always said – Football is life. Interpret the saying and life your way. And any style of football you play.

Love Mom XOXO

Football is Life
WOSSA head ball.j