Ten years ago I was terrified that I wouldn't have enough love to go around. I was so afraid of becoming your mother that I thought I’d have to love Jaedyn less in order to love you more. Boy was I so wrong. You came into this world, and you grabbed onto my heart and never let go.
I can’t help but think, how did we get here? How it it possible that now you are 10 years old? How did 10 years pass so darn fast? I have loved being your mama. Guiding you and loving you and letting you teach me all about life. I know you are not perfect, but I think you are so amazing.
I know I don’t always get it right either. I yell too much, swear too much, and talk too much when I should just be quiet and listen. My standards may sometimes be too high, and I often scold you for not being quiet or behaving when you are just being a kid. I am easily frustrated, short-tempered, and cranky, especially when I hear a hint of whine. I’m working on it. Some days I get it right, others I fall way too short of the mark.
But despite my shortcomings as a person and as your mom, I hope you never spend one day of your life ever doubting my love for you.
These next 10 years will go by even quicker than the last, but these will be the years that you will learn all the hard lessons and truths about the world. I want you to maintain your caring heart. Your heart will hurt. You will feel pain. The world and people will let you down and you will feel discouraged. But I beg you to not lose yourself on things that are meaningless. Do not allow life's mishaps to harden your heart. Pour yourself into things that are really, truly important and are capable of making a difference, even if it’s a small difference. Love people deeply and forgive them quickly. Keep finding the good in everyone, even in those who are overlooked. Don’t get caught up on things that are of this world and don’t measure your success by money. You are much more than what the world tells you you are. God wants to do great things through you. I know your loving heart will be capable of making big things happen. Your dad and I truly believe in you and your capabilities. You were given an immense amount of talents, so don’t compare yourself to others. It is really a killer of joy. Don’t be too quick to overlook the small miracles happening all around you, like a beautiful sunset filled with magnificent wonder. And always know that you have grace, that God always forgives and always loves you. Always.
Carter Dean, as you embark on the second decade of your life, I hope that you will never forget that you are indeed loved for exactly who you are right now and for the young man you are growing into. We are your family and you will always be loved no matter what. This is the soft place you can land where you will always be OK, where you will always be welcome and you will always be loved — no matter what. You are one of the most kind hearted and amazing individuals I have ever met and my love for you is unconditional, forever, and always. Happy Birthday buddy! You are so very loved. ~Mama