Not that you are looking for an uncomfortable, slightly awkward, far too serious, mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey mother-child chat right now, but we’re going to have one anyway.
I’ve got something that’s been weighing on my mind, and I need to relay it to you. Not only do I need for you to hear me, but I need you to give my words your full attention and some contemplation.
It’s nine words that I need for you to remember the rest of your life, as they will take you far.
“You’ll never be ready, but go for it anyway.”
That’s all, you ask?
Yep, hun, that’s it; but because I am your mother and us mothers like to over-explain everything, I will break down for you what it is this phrase means.
It means this:
That when you were born, you weren’t sure about leaving the comfort and security my womb afforded you, but you went for it anyway and moving full-speed ahead, you were in my waiting arms in under two hours from the time you embarked on your 9-month planned-out escape. We have had the pleasure of loving each other ever since.
That on that 15th day of December in 2013, I was young and ill-prepared for what motherhood (and YOU) were going to do for and to me, but I went for it anyway, have been every day since and it has been one of the four best decisions of my life.
That when you started preschool, I wasn’t sure if it was the right time to send you. Would I even be capable of leaving you there in the arms of another? Would you be willing to release the death grip you had on my neck? Would you ever stop crying or would it last all day? These are all things I feared and stressed, but I went for it anyway, and you did too, and you have done nothing but thrive ever since. And, surprisingly, those four hours I get for myself and my work each morning, well they enable me to thrive (or at least gives me the energy to try to).
That I hesitate to give you space to connect with your friends, as I fear you may be nervous or that they will be hurtful, but I go for it anyway, throwing caution in park trashcan and grabbing on to hope that your new friends will be nice and thank goodness, they usually are.
That some days you feel challenged by the workload of school and the pressure to meet self and school-imposed academic standards. I get it; I have been there, but you go for it anyway; you maintain motivation and continue to put in the work, and that kind of effort never goes unrecognized — not by me and not by your teachers. Keep that up.
And, although it is a long time from now, the days are passing quickly and I can picture you, about fourteen years from now, coming to me on the day you leave for college, telling me that you still don’t feel ready.
Do you know what I will tell you, honey?
That you’ll never be ready and that’s okay.
I will tell you that you’ll never be ready, and explain to you that how I know that, is because I was never ready; never prepared for any of this.
Did I want it all — a young marriage and multiple kids? Hell yes.
Was prepared for all complexities involved in maintaining a partnership and raising respectful and kind children? Hell no.
But, I went for it anyway.
I went for it because it resulted in you and your sisters and I continue to go for it because of you. Each of you pushes me to go for it, and you love me regardless of how the chances I take turn out. Still, can I tell you how they almost always turn out? With some form of personal growth, which is a self-win, but also a win for those I love.
You will never be ready for so many things in life and heading off to college is just the beginning. But, guess what? That is more than okay. You will go for anything and everything you want because you are my child and because you are stronger than you feel and braver than you think.
I will always be here for you.
Your father will always be here for you.
But most importantly, you will always be here for yourself, and that is more than enough reason to go for it even when you don’t believe you are ready.
Every chance your dad and I ever took on behalf of you, and all the chances you have taken leading up to now has prepared you for this day and every day forward.
You’ll never be ready, BUT GO FOR IT ANYWAY because the best things in life happen to us when we ‘re not ready, but we grow in the journey.