Last year, I sat down and wrote a blog post to my daughter that included things I wanted her to know through life. You know, in case something happens to me, she will know her momma’s thoughts and lessons on life. I wrote it to her without thinking about anyone else reading it.
So, why did I post it online?
Good question! You know how they say once something hits the Internet it is never lost? Well, that is the reason I am posting these letters instead of saving them on a home computer. With my track record with computers, it may just get lost.
So, today is all about my baby boy!
1. Chivalry is not dead!
Before going into the details, I may need to explain what chivalry means. You may think it is only referring to medieval times. And, that is when I think it was first used, but it is still relevant today. Chivalry means the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak. No, you are not a knight, but we expect you to display the qualities.
Honor and respect others. “Yes, ma’am,” “no, sir,””please,” and “‘thank you” are always expected in this household. It doesn’t hurt to be kind to others.
When it comes to females, they deserve respect. You may not like a girl, but that doesn’t mean that you should treat her badly. Still be kind and use those manners that we have talked about.
And, hey, opening car doors, pulling out a chair, and letting a female walk through the door first are all gentlemen things to do. So, do them! 🙂
2. God gave you a heart, so listen to it!
Yes, your heart is the main organ that keeps your body running, but it is so much more than that. When it is telling you something is wrong, listen! If it is telling you something is right, listen! If it is telling you to go back and fix a mistake or situation, listen! Your heart is there to guide you.
I call mine my Jimmini Cricket. If you don’t know who that is, let me show you a little picture.
Yep! It is a cartoon character that has showed up in Disney movies. Your momma is a huge Disney fan (if you didn’t know that already).
So, listen to your heart and stay true to it. It won’t stear you wrong. Even if you think it has, it only means the story isn’t finished yet.
3. Happiness is made. And, money is not part of the happiness equation.
Your daddy and I had the opportunity to choose a career that made a lot more money. Remember, my career choice changed while I was in college and then again after college. We decided to follow a career that allowed us to help young people. We are ok with not making as much money as we could.
It is a personal choice and one that you will have to make one day. Don’t feel ashamed by whatever path you take. And, definitely don’t feel bad if your mind changes several times. It will happen! And, it is ok. What makes you happy when you are 16 will not be the same things that make you happy when you are 30.
4. Not all questions have an answer.
I know you are taught in school that questions have answers, but that is not always the case in life. Sometimes, you will never know the answer. And, other times, it may take several years until a situation makes complete sense to you.
I have learned that it is more about the paths that you take instead of the answers to the questions. If you decide to take this road, then you will be taken here.
Appreciate the questions that do not have an answer. That is the fun part. You get to determine the answer.
5. Set goals & find your passion in life.
Life is about setting goals and doing everything in your power to achieve them. And, hey, if you change your mind, it is ok. I changed my mind several times before decided on a career. And, I am still dabbling in other areas at the same time. If you change your goals, then give those goals 100%. Never settle!!!
If you find a passion and pursue it, then you will never work a day in your life. And, what can be better than that?!?!
Your daddy and I do not care what that passion is (well, unless it is illegal), but you need to give it your entire heart. If you decide your passion is collecting garbage, then you better be the best darn garbage collector around. Nothing is worth doing unless you commit to it fully.
6. Be proud of your Southern accent.
My entire life, people have pointed out my accent. I was born in Tennessee and raised in Arkansas and the bootheel of Missouri, so of course, I have a strong Southern accent. But, you know what, I am proud of my Southern draw. To me, a Southern accent represents respect for your elders, manners, and the good ole “Southern Hospitality.” So, son, you will have the same accent as me. Own it! Be proud of it! And, support it fully! It really is a positive thing to have.
7. Anything worth anything requires hard work.
There is no such thing as a free handout. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If you set a goal, then work hard to accomplish that goal. And, once that goal is accomplished and you worked your booty off to accomplish it, you will feel even better about yourself. And, like your daddy says, “We don’t raise lazy Morgans!”
8. Doing what is right is not always cool.
There will be many temptations along the way through life. Sometimes, those cool things result in trouble and/or hurting others. Be able to tell the difference. If you are unsure if something is wrong, ask us. Your father and I are here to guide you in the right direction through life. Be prepared for them! Be able to stand strong in your decisions and fight against them. If you decide to cave to the temptation, then be prepared to suffer the consequences. And, the consequences may have nothing to do with me and your daddy. Remember, God watches every move you make!
It is ok to be uncool! I will repeat… IT IS OK TO BE UNCOOL!
Once you stop dreaming, you stop living. Dreaming is not for kids only. This is not Peter Pan’s world. Dreams keep you motivated and they keep hope alive. So, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and dream.
10. All girls are dramatic, but not overly dramatic.
Yes, you are about to hear your mother say this… All girls are dramatic! Just ask your daddy. I am dramatic and so is your sister. I know! I hate to admit it, but I am.
So, here is some words of wisdom from your mom…
If you like a girl and she seems dramatic, it is ok. Give her a chance. She really can’t help it. We are all dramatic. So, if you choose a different girl, she will be dramatic too. It may be a different type of dramatic, but it will still be there. But, here is the thing… She shouldn’t be overly dramatic!
So, how do you tell the difference?
At the beginning, you probably won’t be able to tell. But, if you can, you need to run the opposite direction. These things usually take a little while to come out. So, if you start noticing it and it rubs you the wrong way, then it is ok to part ways.
11.Wear your seatbelt.
This one is pretty self explanatory! Wearing your seatbelt could save your life. Refer to #8.. Wearing your seatbelt may seem uncool to your friends, but this is where you have to stand up for yourself. In this family, we wear our seatbelts. No exceptions or excuses!
12. Be sensitive: Crying is ok.
I really don’t care what other people say about crying. It is ok to be a male and cry! Crying does not mean that you are a baby. It means you have emotions and you are not afraid to show them. Crying can relieve stress, anxiety, and help you calm down after a tense situation. Sometimes, it is best to be a sensitive individual. So, don’t feel like less of a male if a tear rolls down your cheek. It actually makes you more manly than others. Think about it!
13. Education is important.
When I say, “education,” I am not only talking about college. I am talking about elementary school, middle school, high school, and any other form of education you decide to achieve. Your father and I decided to attend college.
If college is not for you, then I want you to choose a different form of education. College is not the only route after graduation.
Finding your passion will help you decide on the right path for you.
14. Just take the picture.
Pictures create memories! I know that most guys are not into taking pictures, and they are especially not happy about smiling in them. But, take the picture anyways and give a nice smile. One day, you or your kids will look back on that picture and wonder why you looked so miserable if not. So, if you don’t want to take the picture for yourself, take it for your family that will want to look at it one day.
15. Act silly with your babies.
I know that society has this perception of men where they are supposed to be macho and pulled together at all moments. But, society has gotten it so wrong! It is ok to let your hair down and be goofy every once in awhile. So, when you have babies, act silly with them.
Act like a bear and crawl across the floor growling. Attend the tea party and sip the imaginary tea that your daughter wants you to drink. They will love you for it and those will be the things they remember most about your relationship. Not the money you spent on them, but the love and goofiness you showed them.
16. Thank God every single day.
When life gets tough, pray… When life is awesome, pray… In other words, pray all the time!
God likes to hear from you when things are good, bad, or indifferent. Acknowledge his existence, not just when times are hard. Give thanks for your blessings and ask for help during your hard times.
17. Choose a girl to live the rest of your life with that makes you want to be a better man.
If you wake up in the morning smiling and can’t get a particular female out of your mind, then you need to pursue a relationship with her… IF that is what she wants too. Now, there is a difference between lust and love! It may be hard to tell the difference in the very beginning. You may think you love a girl with all of your heart and soul and wake up a month later and that feeling has passed. That is ok! That was lust!
True love lasts forever!
Your soul mate is out there waiting for you, so be open to meeting her. At the very beginning, you may not have any interest in her whatsoever. Believe me, your daddy and I had NO INTENTION of being together past a couple of months. I am sure you will hear all about that story one day. But, something special developed. It was not true love in the very beginning. If we would’ve ignored each other, we would’ve missed out on something special.
18. Every day may not be good, but there is good in every day.
Every single day may not be wonderful, but I guarantee you that there are some parts of those days that are wonderful. Plus, it takes a lot more muscles in your face to frown than smile. You are alive and breathing! That alone should put a smile on your face.
So, if something bad happens in a single day, stop and think of what things went right. I guarantee you will find out things aren’t as bad as you first thought.
19. You will always be my baby boy.
From the very beginning of our marriage, your father and I knew we wanted a baby girl and boy one day. After we had your sister, we hoped that God would bless us with a baby boy. We knew it would be ok if he decided another girl was in our future (we would love her just as much), but we wanted a son. When we went to have the gender ultrasound when I was 21 weeks pregnant, you could feel the joy in the room when the lady announced you were a boy. Don’t tell him I told you, but your daddy may’ve shed a tear or two. See, crying is ok!
From the moment your daddy handed you over to me, I felt we had a strong bond. You even grabbed my finger as I held you.
20. Take time to breathe, think, and absorb every single moment of life.
I remember on my wedding day, when the doors were about to open, I held my breath for a few seconds and told myself to stop and remember this moment. I am so thankful that I did that.
Life goes by SO FAST!!! Don’t wish it away. Enjoy every second; even the bad ones.
There are days and weeks in my life that are so bad. But, I try my best not to wish they were over. Sometimes I say, “I wish it was Friday!” But, in my head, I just wish that my day had gone smoother or I wish for a little break. I never mean that I want to miss out on days of my life.
21. Keep a close bond with your sister. Y’all may argue and fight, but she would kill someone over you.
At the end of the day, your sister will be the person that knows you the best and is there for you when everyone else seems distant. Now, I know she may act like your momma sometimes. She can’t help it, she gets it honest. I did the same thing with your Aunt BB. But, it just shows the love she has for you.
Your daddy and I want to make sure that when we leave this Earth, we can leave knowing that our two children will be able to lean on each other to get through it. And, that they will be able to make the best decisions without us there.
At that point, the two of you will be the leaders of this family!
Your Aunt BB and I have been through a lot together. And, one day, I will share all of that with you. Some of it has been good and some of it hasn’t been so good. But, each situation made us form a tighter bond. I am thankful for my sister and I know she is there if I need anything at all.
I want you to have that type of relationship with Kate!
22. Learn to forgive.
This is something that took me awhile to do. Honestly, I was an adult with a child before I learned the magic to this one. I used to be a person that held grudges and constantly replayed the same incidents over in my heard constantly. Then, I watched a movie that changed my perspective. In the movie, one of the characters stated, “Forgiveness is not for them. Forgiveness is for you!” It was like the lightbulb turned on in my head. It took me over 27 years to realize I had been looking at forgiveness wrong the entire time.
When you stay angry, upset, and hold grudges, you are only hurting yourself. It doesn’t matter how wrong someone treated you. They are still living their life and not worrying about you, while you live in constant misery. Forgive those people and move on. You have learned from the experience and that is enough. Don’t waste your life worrying about people that do not care about you or your well-being.
23. Learn to say, “I’m sorry!”
This one goes along with the forgiveness statement. If you are wrong, learn to admit it. Don’t fight something when you know you were in the wrong. Being able to say those two words will make you a better person and stronger man. The strong say, “I’m sorry!” And, the weak run from it.
And, realize one thing about these two magic words… Just because you saying them does not mean others will too. But, like I said earlier, forgive them.
24. Be a friend.
You must be a friend to have friends. And, let’s not get confused. You will have many acquaintances that you will think are your friends, but in the end, their non-friendship ways will shine through.
Being a friend means thinking about another person. Be the person they need during the hard times. The one that will give them a big hug and console them, and that will still be there for them when they walk away. A true friend stays true when the other person walks away.
Even if you have individuals that decide not to be a friend to you, don’t let that change how you treat others. Live, learn, and share your friendship with others.
25. Be thankful and humble.
Appreciate EVERYTHING that is done for you whether that means someone opening the door for you at the grocery store or someone having your back in a situation.
God woke you up this morning! And, for that alone, you should be thankful.
It never fails, even today, when I start getting a little over confident, God has a way of putting me back in my place. Some people have that little ability to check themselves and others don’t. If you have that ability, then appreciate it.
26. There is no place like home.
Your parents will always love you unconditionally. We may not always agree with your actions, but we will never stop loving you. We will always be your biggest FANS!!!