My Average Kids

Dear Kids,

I have brought you into this world and watched and helped you grow. You have turned from helpless infants into small people and each day I am awed and amazed at how the two of you have grown. Every day you develop your own personalities a little more and I am given a glimpse into the future of who you will become. Each day you learn a little more and I am honored to have helped you in your struggles and also in your triumphs. Each day you remind me of all that the world has to offer you, and I am reminded of the most important lesson that you must take and carry on with you.

I love you both deeply, but know this…. You are average.

That may have sounded harsh but let me explain. You both are in a world where dreams can come true, dreams can be broken and dreams can never even happen. You were born with two feet (average), two hands(average), one mouth (also average), two eyes (average)….. Are you getting the point yet?

Daddy and I brought you into this world with the same tools as everyone else. You are the average. You can walk and talk just like anyone else and you live in a home like most people do. You have parents that care about you all the time and suck some of the time. You have a full life of love, learning, feeling, being and experiencing all of this world ahead of you, and the tools that you were given from the start are the same as almost anyone else.

Let me explain further… You see, you were both born with the same thing that most of us are born with physically. You were born average. Remember this because there seems to be an epidemic of amazingness going on right around you. Some babies are brought into this world and told how wonderful and awesome they are. Some babies are put on that pedestal from day one. They only have amazing and awesome to look forward to for the rest of their lives.

You both, on the other hand, have average to look forward to. That is, unless you choose other wise. “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.” Derek Jeter

Dad and I have given you both the basic necessities. We have ensured that you will lead an average life, but if you realize now how average you are, you and only you can turn that into something extroidinary. You both possess the power to achieve anything that you can dream of. Litereally any idea that you can come up with, is possible, as long as you have the will to fight for it and go get it. You may have been born average just like everyone else, but your heart and your soul can make you anything but average if you truly want to.

It will be hard for you. There are so many children out there now that are told from birth that they are amazing. These children will end up in your lives and and in your classes. They will be the ones that think that the teacher is only talking to them… because they are amazing, of course. They will be the children that change the rules of the game because they aren’t winning and the ones that must be the line leader every day. Don’t stress over it too much, they were just never informed of how average that they are.

This is my gift to you. I want you both to realize how average that you are. You are like everyone else and nothing that you have is any greater… unless you make it greater. Look, your blood flows red and dries black just like mine. Your Mom has wiped your behind more times than she cares to count. You have had to learn to walk, talk, eat, dress yourself, just like everyone else. We are all born average.

If tomorrow you wake up wanting to be a fireman, I can tell you this. You will be average at fighting fires. You will have to work and sweat and live and die to fight those fires to be the best fire fighter that you could ever be…. only then will you move from average to slightly above average.

It takes really hard work, and a whole lot of mind and soul to go from average to awesome. Some people have done it. A lot of people have… but I promise this, they never once just got to be awesome because their Mommy said so. I won’t lie to you both and fill your minds with the ideas that you are outstanding. I will tell you that you both have the heart and soul to be such. You just have to want it. You have to fight for it, like its your life that is at stake. The ones that can do that, actually become more than average.

In my eyes you will both always be more than average, but know this, I won’t be around forever and my opinion is skewed. You are both more than enough for me, but the world wants more and you both have more. Take the fact that you are average with you in every life obstacle that you should come across. Start out as average and really dig deep to find out if you seek more. I know you are both truly inspirational and astounding individuals, but my word is only as good as average.

Be determined to be better than average. Be a fighter. Want what you can’t have and then find a way to get it. Dream for things that are unimaginable and then find a way to catch those dreams. Expect more from yourself that anyone else, because you will always be your worst critic. Use those brains that God gave you, but always listen to your heart. Sometimes they will argue but the heart is usually right. Find a way to no longer be average. You are both, anything but.

 

Love, Mommy

 

The Lies I Tell My Children

 

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Dear Cassidy and Jacob,

This letter may come as a shock to you down the road. It may be hard to believe but everything that Mommy and Daddy say…. well, it’s not all true. Trust me, I want you to worship us and I want you to trust us but there are just some things that we lie about.  As a parent, I never set out to tell lies or make up stories but at some point they just came to be.

Some lies were to teach a lesson. Some lies were to protect you from something. Some lies were to get you to do something. Some lies were to create a little bit of fairy tale in this dreadful world. All of the lies however, were told with the best of intentions and hopefully when you have children of your own you will understand what I mean completely.

We don’t mean harm in these small fibs that we tell and honestly, I can remember my parents saying some of them to me. I turned out ok, and I am sure that you will too.That said, here is a list of a few of the lies and the reasons why we said them.

1. Sticks and stones will break your bones but words can never hurt you. Yup this is one that my parents told to me. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, the first part is true. Sticks and stones can in fact break your bones. So you see, we aren’t terrible parents after all. The rest of the line, however… is a stretch.

I think I first used this line on you Cassidy, when you came home and told me that a little boy on your bus said something that made you sad. I think the lie came out almost out of instinct. I don’t want to see your feelings hurt by anyone so I guess it was second nature to say that words can never hurt you. It was like I was empowering you to not care what words were spewed by this little boy.

Now, here is the truth. Words do in fact hurt you. They may not break bones but they sure can break your heart. The toughest weapons sometimes are that of language and I hope that you never learn to use your words in a way that could hurt another. We all say things from time to time that can sting another person. Sometimes in a fit of rage we say things that we wouldn’t normally. The trouble is that words can hurt so much deeper than the wounds of an actual weapon.

Once the pain has been caused it can not be taken back. I remember saying that I hate my mom once. I can’t ever forget how much it hurt her. She may no longer think about it and her wound may have healed but I can never forget the look on her face when I said it. Both of you have said this same phrase to me, and I while I realize that you are both young and do not know what you are saying, I hope that some day you will realize how much a few words can actually hurt someone.

This brings me to the next lie.

2. When you say you hate someone it puts a hole in their heart. I said this to you, Cassidy, the very first time you said that you hated me. You are a stubborn little girl with a fiery temper like someone else that I know. You say things that you don’t mean and regret them later. An apology does help, but I want you to know that sometimes it is best not to say such intense words when you don’t mean them.

I told you that you put a hole in my heart and that I could feel the pain. I wanted you to visualize the actual hole that was created in my heart from your words. I wasn’t trying to scare you but I wanted you to understand how much pain was caused from your words. If you punch someone and leave a bruise then it is easy to see the proof of pain that was inflicted. When you use words to hurt someone, you can’t necessarily see the pain.

No there wasn’t a real hole in my heart. Sorry if this one scared you.

3. I go to work everyday to save up for a trip to Disney. By the time you read this, I hope that we have made it to Disney, but…… I am not actually working day after day to pay for it. Daddy and I actually work each day to pay for all of the other things that we give you guys each day. You know the meaningless stuff like a house to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, books to read, toys to play with. You know the boring stuff.

I don’t tell you this lie with the intention of never going to Disney. In fact, I really do hope to make it there some day sooner than later. The trouble is that in the list of things that are needed and wanted in our house, Disney tends to fall to the bottom of the list of priorities. For that I am sorry, but like I said, I do hope to make it there for real some day.

4. I would never throw away your “art” or “crafts”. This is mostly a lie that I tell. Daddy isn’t too involved in this one. I guess it is my need to not have clutter everywhere that takes over and I have to throw some things away. Don’t feel too bad, I have thrown things of Daddy’s away too.

Really I hope that you understand some day that I just could not keep every scrap of paper that you think is a masterpiece. Some of them are literally a scrap of paper. In your eyes it may be something magical but if I kept them all, we would eventually be buried in magic. I do love your art and I do keep most of it. I am not cold and heartless. I just choose the pieces that are more well thought out than ripped paper, that’s all.

5. I will never leave you. While I would like this one to be true, I actually have little control over it. I want you to understand that someday, hopefully very, very, long from now, I will in fact leave you. We will all pass on at some point and I want you to know that even if it is my turn, that I will always be with you in your heart.

Daddy and I have an important job of raising the two of you. Everything that we teach you, is so that some day when we are gone, you can care for yourselves and each other. We are working hard to give you the tools to survive without us. We would love to be with you always, but the truth is that at some point we all move on.

6. Mommy and Daddy need a nap. We must seem very lazy to you but the truth is that usually we do not need a nap at ten in the morning. Sometimes we say this just to get away from the noise that you two create and sometimes we use this line so that we can snuggle. By snuggle I mean argue behind closed doors or actually snuggle.

Really, it comes down to the fact that Daddy and I wouldn’t like each other very much if we couldn’t spend some time alone. We need this time to focus on each other because the rest of our day focuses on anyone but. You two take up most of my time and effort for sure. I find the work rewarding but difficult and draining at times. Sometimes a half hour away is just what I need to recharge and start again.

All that said, sometimes we actually stayed up too late the night before and really need a nap.

7. Watching tv turns your brain to mush. This is a lie that I sort of snicker in my head when I say it. I picture your actual brains melting down and sloshing around inside of your heads. I wonder if that is the picture that you get also. We tell this lie mostly because we don’t want you glued to the tv. The reason we don’t want you glued to the tv is because it will only make you miss out on life.

There are a million things that you could be doing instead of watching a piece of glass with flashing lights. You miss out on so much when that thing is on. I agree that some shows have an educational value but you will learn more from life any day of the week. There are lessons and teachable moments around every corner and experiences that would be missed if your eyes were glued to the tube.

8. If you don’t clean up, I am throwing these toys away. I would love to actually make this lie come true but the truth is that Daddy and I work way to hard to toss money in the garbage. That said, you should know that toys do cost money, they are not free and when we ask you to put them away it is because we want you to care for the things that we have  given to you.

Each toy represents time that we have had to spend away from you working. It stinks. We don’t actually like working and would rather not, but we do. We want you to care for your things and respect the time that we have sacrificed to earn them. This is a lesson that will take time to learn and by the time you read this, you better have it down, or Daddy and I really suck.

We really shouldn’t make threats that we are never going to keep but in the moment it is the first thing that comes to mind. I have even pulled out garbage bags a few times but the whole time I knew that I’d never really throw them away. I know, it is crappy but I will laugh the first time I hear you say it to your own kids. If you never have to use this one, then you should write a book and teach others because you are amazing!

9. In a minute. This isn’t even a whole phrase but it goes with many. We can go outside in a minute, I will turn on the tv in a minute. I will be there in a minute. This is always a lie. A minute is sixty seconds and Daddy and I almost always are too slow to actually only mean a minute. We use this phrase to get you to stop pressuring us. We’d like to move faster but we just don’t. We no longer have the energy or stamina that you both have and we take longer than a minute to do almost everything. If we say in a minute, we are almost always lying.

10. We are almost there. I say this sometimes when I am barely out of the driveway. If it will suffice you both to stop asking how much longer than I will use it again. I would love some day to teleport from one location to another but until that technology comes about we will have to do it the old fashioned way.

Trust me, Daddy and I try not to plan trips in the car with you both unless they are quick. We do that for our own sanity not yours. I have little desire to ride in a car with you guys for longer than fifteen minutes but sometimes it is a must. Every time you ask, I will probably have the same response. “We are almost there.”

Hopefully you don’t think that Daddy and I are too terrible for telling lies. Like I said, we don’t tell them just for kicks. Honestly, there is probably many more that we tell than just these ten. Some day you will probably use them too, and when you do, I promise not to tell my grandkids the truth.

Love, Mommy