An Open Goodnight To My Toddler

An Open Goodnight To My Toddler

Goodnight to my darling toddler; I promise to cherish this one.
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You don't know this, but right now I am sitting in the dark, on the floor of your bedroom, watching you sleep. I miss the days when you used to curl up in my arms; instead, you curl up under your covers. I stare at your soft face and listen intently to your quiet breathing; this is the most peaceful you get nowadays, but I take those moments for granted, don't I?

I often forget that you haven't always been here. Most days I lose all recollection of when I wasn't a mother. But at the same time, I remember your birth like it was yesterday, dying to get you out of me so I could just hold you. I wish I had cherished it more.

As I sit here and watch your tiny chest moving up and down, my mind flutters with all the wonderful things you will do in your life, imagining exactly who you will become. A thousand possibilities, a million scenarios, but all of you being a strong, incredible person. All the things you may be, but I begin to tear as I think of all the things you have already been. I think of the little bean I saw, eight weeks young on the screen the day I fell in love. I think of the sweet tiny baby you became while tossing and turning in my growing stomach. I think of the fragile baby the nurse handed me that day in the hospital. So tiny yet so life-changing. I wish I had cherished it more.

Staring at your tiny feet poking out from under the blanket, I think of all the places they have taken you, from your first steps to playing on the playground to running playfully away from me while I chase you. It won't be long before you to actually go. The thought makes me tear up. There are so many places you have gone, but so much more you are yet to travel. Only a couple hours ago you were running to kiss me goodnight. I wish I had cherished it more.

I kiss your forehead and, to my dismay, you don't smell like a newborn baby anymore. My mind takes me back to all the times I have kissed that same spot on your head, from the first time I kissed you to your first day of daycare and each of the million times in between. I know it won't be long until you are dodging kisses from your mom because they just aren't cool. I need to cherish them more.

You begin to toss in bed and I slowly sneak out, but not without another glimpse of my darling little boy. I whisper you a silent goodnight as I procrastinate walking away. I know soon, our goodnights will be brief and fleeting. I know my days of tucking you in, in this bed, in this room, in this house are all numbered, but I quietly promise you I will cherish them more.

Cover Image Credit: Alexandra Hare

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

friends

It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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