baby angelI was sent a proverb of sorts the other day. It said, “be more concerned with your character than your reputation, … because your character is what you really are, … while your reputation is what others think you are.”

In life, there are as many roads to travel as there are people to take the journey. There are the things we desire for ourselves, the things others try to impress upon us, and the happenstance of living that take us to different crossroads. Because we have but one shot at success, we do our best to make the most of whatever situation we find ourselves struggling through. Sometimes we make the right choice. Other times we make wrong ones. In either event, the consequences of those choices make us stronger.

We don’t always do what our parents want. We sometimes don’t even do what we would prefer. The feelings, and professing’s of others, can cause us enough angst that we finally give in. However, the choice remained our own. The decision that ultimately brought us joy, or sadness, was ours to embrace.

Once again, it is your Birthday. A day for celebration. Including … mine.

Disregard those who do not share in your joy. Hold dear those that do. Carefully guide your children in the pathways that they may choose. For, one day, the choice they make will no longer be as you would wish.

In that day, you will know what it means; that thing called “free agency.” You will know heartache, and pain. You will know worry and fear. You will know love, compassion, and empathy. You will finally understand – once they are gone – what it means to be… a parent. You will carefully consider every birthday along the way.

When that moment comes, you will know what I feel. How I feel. Each day that I see your face in faded photographs. You will know what it means to be “proud” of your child in all her accomplishments. All her trials and tribulations overcome. Her choices. Her life. For the character of the one you raise is borne of who you really are… not what others perceive.

Jennifer. I am righteously proud of you. Proud of the woman you have become. The person that is now a wife and Mother.

Have a Happy Birthday! Let your joy be in the arms of your husband… your children gathered close.

And, let the angels lift their voices to declare your character clean and pure. That your children may follow your example. For it is up to you whether that following be in all your ways.

All my love,