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After reading other people’s stories and starting to write my own, I made a commitment to you the other night. Throughout your life, I’ll come to you and ask, “Do you think that you have to do something in particular to earn my love? Do you find yourself doing things that you don’t want to do simply because you want my attention or want to feel validated by me?” We can’t help but look to others for validation, but my greatest hope for you is that you’re able to grow up feeling worthy of love just as you are, wherever you are.

I want to encourage you to try new things and stick it out when something becomes difficult. I also want to help you trust your gut and follow your instincts when something doesn’t feel right.

I want you to know that things often aren’t as black and white as many people think they are. A lot of things can’t be dismantled and placed into columns of good or bad, right or wrong, success or failure. It’s enticing to think they can because that requires less thought and consideration. You don’t have to figure out what you believe and what you value when other people have laid it out for you. A path seems easier to follow when the directions are clearly marked. Keep in mind, if you follow someone else’s path, they’ve decided where you’ll end up. But true growth comes in discovering a path for yourself. That’s where it gets exciting. That’s where you gain strength and confidence.

I hope your dreams outnumber the stars. If you share those dreams with me, I hope to encourage you without pushing you. If those dreams come true, I want to celebrate with you while reminding you that your success has no bearing on my love for you – for that, my son, is unending.