To my son Matthew

Tomorrow you will graduate high school. You will toss your cap in the air and an era of youth will end. You will be an adult, entering a new phase of life, one full of greater responsibility and expectation. The pressures of growing up, the stress of taking care of yourself, the possible anxiety of making life decisions will all creep in. It may be scary. It will be challenging.

But know this: you are capable. You are equipped to handle much more than you know. You were designed for greatness and this world is a better place because you exist. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like a failure because we enter unknown territory and we feel ill prepared but do not give into that fear. Every moment of uncertainty is an opportunity to get better, grow stronger, gain wisdom and become a more complete and amazing version of ourselves.

When you were born, my life changed. The firstborn child among the five siblings in my family and the first grandchild. Everyone traveled to visit and dote on you. Our family began to grow closer with a new baby at the center of it all. You had no idea how much you mattered and I imagine, at times, you still do not understand the magnitude of your worth.

As you’ve grown, you’ve continued to affect our family, my life and the lives of those you encounter. You have a heart that loves so fiercely and cares so deeply that at times, you forget yourself in order to pour into others. When you enter a space, you bring pure joy with you. As someone recently told me, “you have a light inside you that makes others happy.” It’s true, there is something contagious and wonderful about being around you. It’s undeniable.

Watching you grow has been the single greatest experience of my life. You’re more amazing than any mountain I’ve climbed, any sunset I’ve seen and any adventure I have yet to embark on. You have taught me sacrificial and unconditional love. In raising you, I have learned to let go, to trust outcomes, to accept mistakes and to laugh at myself.

I will always smile when I think about us singing songs and being silly during car rides. I love when you practice your music around me and feel grateful you filled my life with the beauty of your talents. Thank you for reminding me to be kind to myself and for teaching me about what really matters in life.

I pray that I have instilled within you strength to endure the tough times. I pray I have modeled love and kindness so that you never forget how to treat others. I hope you can always turn to me for advice and know that I will be here, without judgement, to share whatever wisdom I may have. Thank you for being who you are. I love you more than I knew I could love someone and am honored to be your mom.

Author: mytruthbysarahwhaley

I’m a 38 year old mom, wife and aspiring world changer. I play roller derby, do Crossfit and try to be as active as possible (probably too active at times). I love Jesus with all my heart and in turn, passionately love others. I am obsessed with my dog and food.

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