This Sunday, I had an assignment to present to the Young Women "What I Want My Children to Know." I'm sure this may change and expand over the years; I've already thought of some additions. It was difficult and emotional to write, even harder to read aloud (try it). Oh, I love my little JuneBugs!
To My Sweet Girls,
I won’t ever tell you I walked five miles to school barefoot in a snowstorm uphill both ways. And I can’t tell you I know what you’re going through, or exactly how you feel. But, I have had my heart broken and I have worn hand-me-downs and I’ve made mistakes and I’ve been betrayed by my friends. I may just be your embarrassing old mom, but I have seen a few things in my lifetime and there are some things I want you to know.
DON’T MAKE A DECISION BY YOURSELF. Starting very young, you’ll be faced with choices… from where to go to college to whom to date to what to wear to prom. You’re smart, it is true. But do not rely entirely on your own understanding. You have resources available to give you peace and help you find answers: ask those you respect, inquire of the Lord through prayer, visit the temple.
YOUR BODY IS A GIFT. You are an absolute miracle. Even from your first breath, there were many hearts and hands that contributed to ensuring your body made it safely to earth… from a team of doctors to my very own. Every breath since then, I’ve admired the miracle of your little fingers and toes and those big beautiful eyes. Even more than I would hate to see a precious family heirloom cracked and broken, I would be devastated if your body was ever misused or abused.
MOMMIES MAKE MISTAKES. There will be times I judge your friends too harshly or discipline you too strongly. I’ll also embarrass you in public, I promise. Please forgive me and love me anyway.
SING. Whether you join the choir or just roll down the car window and turn the music up, it’ll make you feel better. And in the same category, dance and laugh. Wear great clothes and eat good food.
LET GO. As much as I try to protect you, you’ll be hurt by others. It may be really, really terrible hurt. Do not let that hurt continue by hanging on. Forgive.
BE KIND. Christ is our perfect example. Love others as He would, from kings to beggars. How you treat others and how you speak of others can make you ugly or beautiful. Choose beauty. You’ve got a big heart, open it up and share that love.
DON’T GROW UP TOO FAST. You'll have plenty of time later to be mature.
WHO YOU DATE/HANG OUT/”WE’RE JUST FRIENDS” WITH MATTERS. You may think that when you’re young, it is no big deal. But I’m asking you to trust me here, and develop a pattern of spending your time, and your sacred heart, with only the most quality of men. I had a great life before your Daddy, but it has been absolutely holy ever since. Find your own love, but I’d highly recommend someone just like him: Your father is a man of God. He serves others. He is wise. He makes me laugh my guts out. And he’s not bad to look at.
DREAM BIG. And live those dreams. Try out for the team. Run the race. Go on that trip. Be the best version of whatever you want to be.
LEARN. This life is a valuable time to gather knowledge. There is so much to know! Gain an education through quality schooling, and also build a reservoir of knowledge by inquiry and life experience. And if there’s ever something nobody else knows the answer to, walk down the street and ask Shawn Morgan… she’ll know.
BE AN EXAMPLE. You are strong and valiant. Stand tall, be an example of the believers. Testify through how you live.
YOUR MOTHER HAS A TESTIMONY OF THE GOSPEL. There is Good News, and I know it. I know we have a Heavenly Father who is keenly interested in our welfare. I know Jesus Christ walked amongst mortal men on earth to perform miracles and profess of the gospel and atone for our sins. I know the truth has been restored to the earth through modern-day prophets. I know the scriptures are true, and that by partaking of the words of God in the Bible and Book of Mormon our lives and testimonies can be richly blessed. Heavenly Father loves us individually, and we all have the opportunity to be personally redeemed.
I KNOW YOU AND I LOVE YOU. I still can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have two perfect girls who call me “Mom;” I don’t deserve such a noble honor. Still, I am prepared for a lifetime of singing you lullabies and slaying your dragons. When you laugh, my heart overflows. When you cry, so do I. I love you, I do.