Over the weekend one of my dear friends gave birth to her first child. She and I grew up together and were nearly inseparable throughout grade school and junior high. Neither of us is at all biased, so believe me when I tell you her baby boy is pretty freaking perfect. I’ve had acquaintances from college start families, but she is the first friend to become a mom. So it’s understandable that I may have gone a wee bit overboard when it came to buying gifts for the new baby, including six pairs of shoes. But it was so much fun, and so exciting to think of that little dude rocking a pair of superman sneakers that I just couldn’t help myself. Now he’s here, and although I haven’t met him in person yet (his mom has been gracious enough to frequently text me pictures), that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about him, his parents, and all the great things life holds for him. As you may remember, I’m a fan of wishes, so here then are my wishes for little baby ACE.
I wish for you grand adventures. Whether it’s travelling the world or getting accidentally locked in a closet (ask your mom or your Uncle Jason about that), adventures make the best stories. Decades later the memory of a great adventure will still be worth telling, and re-telling. And adventures always teach you something, it might be a philosophical truth, or an as yet-undiscovered aspect of your personality, or it might be something less deep, like the fact that some closet doors lock from the inside. Regardless, have adventures, have lots of them, and tell me stories.
I wish for you a sense of humor. Both of your parents are hilarious, so I don’t think there’s any danger that you won’t have a great sense of humor. Your dad is laugh-out-loud funny and your mom has the patience to wait 45 minutes for the perfect moment of comedic timing. I hope you laugh together as a family, I hope you laugh with your friends, I hope you laugh at yourself. Just never at someone else’s expense. Be kind in your humor and laugh often.
I wish for you a questioning mind. The world is full of people who want to tell you what to think and believe; people who know with all certainty that they are right and others are wrong. The truth is things are more complex than these people would often have you believe. There are shades of grey and degrees of truth, and what is true for one person may not be true for another. I hope you learn to take it all in and think for yourself. Beware of anyone who claims to know everything. Except your parents. They really do know it all.
I wish for you best friends. I wrote a couple weeks ago that there is nothing in the world quite like a best friend. They’re simply amazing. Best friends will have your back in the hard times and be there to laugh and share adventures in the good times. They (along with your family, and if you’re lucky their family) will be your rock. I was lucky enough to have your mom as a best friend, after meeting her in first grade and immediately engaging in a philosophical discussion about Crayola colors. As we grew, our families became friends, and all five of us kids played together all the time. Your mom and I went to school together for eight years before attending different high schools and then living in different states. But we stayed friends; we were bridesmaids at each-other’s weddings and when she called to tell me she was pregnant with you, I couldn’t possibly have been happier (unless of course she had told me at the beginning of the conversation). Never underestimate the power of a best friend and don’t take them for granted. You’ve already got a best friend ready made in your pal Liam, I’m sure you two will have lots of fun playing together and causing mayhem. Be kind to one another and try not to give your parents too much grief.
I wish for you a fantastic imagination. I hope you create games and characters. I hope you run through the back yard with your friends, screaming about invisible lions hiding behind trees or dragons in the sky. I hope you read books and fall into the world’s they create (this one’s a little selfish, as I can’t wait to give you books), I hope you color (I’ll send you some crayons too!) and draw and dream vividly. An imagination is the key to so much in life, it can serve you later on as an adult in ways you wouldn’t expect, but for now, I just wish for you to have play and have fun.
Finally, I wish for you kindness. I hope the world is kind to you and I especially hope you are kind to the people you meet. The simple act of showing kindness to a stranger or classmate has far reaching consequences, not the least of which is it’s good for your soul. Don’t be mean. I know it’s easy to do, especially once you get older and into school. But kindness shows strength and character. Think of other’s and be kind. And while we’re on the subject, be nice to your parents. They’re crazy in love with you. Even when you’re a teenager and you could swear that they’re out to get you or just being mean, remember how much they love you and be kind.
Grow big and strong baby ACE. I can’t wait to meet you in person