I love you, and I am so proud of the man you have become. I love your funny faces, your sense of humour can brighten the toughest day. I love your kind heart, you will do anything for the people you love. I love that you are so responsible. Most of the time. I love your generosity, you share without expectation of return. I love to see you smile. Happy kids = happy mum, regardless of your age.
It's hard to believe 21 years have gone by since I first held you in my arms, and yet at times it seems so long ago. A lifetime. Back then I was younger than you are now. Isn't that a scary thought! I can truthfully say that it's been a pleasure to be your mum, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I will always be thankful for you and the joy your life has brought me.
And as you launch into your adult life, there are a few things I want you to remember:
- Always be persistent, never give up. You have to go after what you want in life. It won't just come to you.
- Always be honest. Nothing good comes of lies, they just come back to bite you.
- Keep calm, and be in control. Every situation will be easier when you maintain your self-control.
- Know when to say no. You don't always have to say yes, be prepared to walk away if necessary.
- Be true to yourself. Don't try to be someone or something you are not. The real you is the best you. Always remember that.
- Never be afraid to take a (calculated) risk. If you never try, you'll never know.
- Never stop learning and growing. It's what you learn after you know it all that counts (I 'borrowed' that from Harry Truman)
- Always be kind to women/girls. Remember that every woman is somebodies daughter/sister/mother and they all deserve your respect, even those who don't appear to respect themselves. Especially them.
- Don't take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself, and others will laugh with you. Or maybe at you, but who cares?
And lastly, you will always be my baby. Whether you like it or not.
Happy Birthday Ben! Have a fabulous 21st birthday weekend.
P.S. I'm still sorry for the time that you rang me from the hospital with a broken jaw and I didn't believe you.