Recently, I spent a whole week watching my three boys at the beach. As cheesy as it sounds, I was reminded of that old Lee Ann Womack song, “I Hope You Dance.” While she hoped her kids felt small when they stood beside the ocean, (which is the line that made me think of this in the first place), I found myself thinking of their futures, both individually and intertwined as brothers, and thought of more hopes for them…
I hope you always love each other as brothers and as best friends.
I hope you remember that we may not have had as much as everyone else, but we always had each other and we always had fun.
I hope you always remember how hard I tried for all of you all the time, even if sometimes it didn’t seem that way.
I hope you remember that even when there were other people in our lives, it really was just the three and then just the four of us for so long, my sweet babies, and that it takes courage to do big things.
Speaking of, I hope you have the courage to do your own big things, no matter what those things look like on the outside. I want you to be brave in your choices even if they are unconventional.
I hope you find you own successes and your own paths that make you happy.
I hope you never settle in any area.
I hope you learn from seeing and hearing horrible things said and done to me and to other women in general, and you use those as catalysts to do better and to be better to the women in your lives.
I hope you have someone special to you, with whom you can share your lives and your adventures, because while you can call the shots 100% of the time while alone, at the end of the day you’re still alone. And that can at times be hard.
I hope you give me grand babies. Because babies.
I hope you know that you can always come home. Whether you’re 16, 30, or 50. You will always have a safe place to come and just be.
Maddox, I hope you realize that perfection really isn’t everything. That you can be so much without having to be the best at whatever task you master all the time. I hope you always love babies and animals, and continue to nurture others as you do now. I hope you know that you don’t always have to be the caretaker in every situation and that you have such a kind heart.
Walker, I hope you know that your limitations don’t define you. That while your outsides may be different, your insides are full of knowledge and wonder. I hope you never stop being so intuitive and sensitive to others’ needs and learning non-stop about things that interest you. I hope you never feel like you grew up in the shadow of someone you see as “better” than you, and that you realize you have your own gifts to share.
Finn, I hope you always love mama as much as you do now, my sweet baby boy. I hope your strong-willed determination that I see now at 14-months-old, leads you to stand your ground and to fight for others. I hope you know that as the baby you will have been doted on by everyone, but that being the baby doesn’t get you a free pass to act however you’d like to. I hope you don’t feel alone when it’s just you and me, after your big brothers move away and you’re still relatively small.