Friday, January 17, 2014

A Letter To the Future (Inspired By An Incredible 12 year Old)

Have you ever noticed how wise kids are? How they can kind of cut to the heart of a problem or think of something in a completely new and fresh way. Have you ever just been in awe of their brains? How they think?

I learned today about Taylor Scout Smith, who, aside from having an incredibly awesome name (seriously...her parents made her middle name Scout. I love them!) was apparently very forward thinking.

Taylor Smith passed away recently of complications stemming from pneumonia. Before I go any further I need to take a time out and address her parents specifically.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith,

I am deeply sorry for your loss. As a mother of two boys and step-mother to one girl, I can't imagine what you are going through. To lose a child is every parent's worst nightmare. To lose a child unexpectedly is even worse. Everything I have learned about your daughter indicates that she was as perfect as you thought her. And we parents always think our babies are perfect, because they are. They are perfect for us. They were sent after all. I'm in awe of the child you raised and she has inspired me in many ways, as I hope you'll see fromt he further contents of this post. Know that you are being lifted in my prayers. And thank you for sharing your daughter with us.

After Taylor passed away her mum and dad began finding out new things about her. The stories from friends and teachers and others who Taylor had made some kind of difference to. Whether in a large or small way it seems this girl touched many. What a great legacy.

But my favorite thing was the letter they found in her belongings. A letter she wrote to her 22 year old self. A letter clearly questioning where she would be in 10 years. A letter comforting her 22 year old self with the knowledge...even at 12 years old that if "they" didn't go to college it wasn't a big deal because she knows "they" already have good judgement and reasoning. Self awareness...from a 12 year old.

She was goal building. She was looking into her future in a way many of us never do. She was projecting where she would be and more importantly WHO she would be and I find that incredibly, deeply inspiring.

She also was curious about Doctor Who and if it was still on. That fact alone pleases me immeasurably. Anyone who loves The Doctor is a friend of mine and I love that she asked about the future incarnations. Whovian to the core, is our Taylor Scout Smith. Once again a sign of great parenting.

I write a lot about how I see myself. Things I do to make myself feel better when I have a bad day. I write thigns that no one will ever see because they are private and hidden and for me only. I've never given a thought to what my children my find of me after I'm gone.

Ok..that's a bit of a lie. I have. But I've never really, deeply, thought about it. I've thought about the Facebook posts I make and the tweets I've tweeted. I think about this blog and how they don't read it now but I really hope they will when they get older, so they can see their mum is more than just their mum. I want my children to see that I had thoughts beyond them. I want my children to see that I had goals and needs and wants and loves and passions that they weren't aware of.

So...Thank you Taylor Scout beautiful, intelligent angel. Thank you from the very bottom of my currently 31 year old heart. Thank you for changing my perspective and making me think about what a letter I write to 41 year old self might look like.

If you are interested in reading all of Taylor's story, and you really should be, you can find it right here.

Meanwhile...Here's my letter:

Dearest Shelley,

We're 41 years old now. Do we love it? we always said you weren't afraid of aging. Did we stay that way? Were we excited to blow out the candles on our 40th? Did Husband-Man throw us the surprise party we really wanted but didn't feel like we could tell anyone we wanted? Ever...for any of our birthdays? He's our Husband-Man...he should have read this letter...since it's on our blog and gotten busy. I hope, for his sake, he did.

Are we happy? Happy with our body? Did the Weight Watchers thing work out for us? Do we even remember that? For the, as of this writing, we have just finished eating our lunch and it was only 6 points after we had a 4 point breakfast. I'm kind of ridiculously proud of us at the moment.

Our life? How're the kids? All healthy? Do we have any grandbabies? If not...R needs to get busy. Tell her from me. We need babies. I know how much we are looking forward to being a grandmother. I've even spent time trying to figure out what we want our grandbabies to call us...if they ever get here.

But really...Is M still DJing? He's 13 now and really into it and he says it's what he wants to do when he grows up. Did he? Or did he completely change course when he got to college? Or did he maybe go to a trade school? Trade schools are getting good press right now. Because not many people are entering into trades and instead are going to college because that's where the emphasis has been put over the last few years. Everyone is pushing their kids to go to college. No one is thinking about who is going to fix their toilets in 50 years. No one except you. Because you're kinda smart. I'm we still do that? I hope so. Life is more fun when its lived in a stream of consiousness.

Speaking of stream of consiousness...Was Eddie Izzard ever The Doctor in the last 10 years? If not...I'm sure you'll be as upset about that as I am now at the mere thought of it. Rupert Grint and Eddie Izzard are my two dream Doctors currently. I hope we finally get to see them. I refuse to believe Doctor Who is no longer on the air...but I am kind of hoping that Moffat has moved on. I'm getting a little bored of him.

What about G and R? Did R take over the third world country like she planned? Or did she set a less ambitious goal? Is G on the way to being the rock star we all think he is? Are we managing him? OMG! Please tell me he's better than Justin Bieber at everything. Tell me he's not obnoxious. Tell me he's kind and sweet and fame hasn't gone to his head. Or you can tell me he's just G. Being sweet and cute and 12. I'd be totally OK with that too. Actually...I'd be much more OK with that than the whole rock star thing...but if he has dreams I know we'll pursue them for him.

How about your career? How's that going? Did you ever figure out for certain what path you wanted to take? I recently learned that my career is going to be taking a turn but I'm still not sure in which direction. I'm hoping it turned out great. I'm hoping we love what we are doing now. Or at the very least that we finally went back to school and finished our degree or at least got our hair license. Careers are important but they are a means to an end. The end is the place you want to be. The end is the most important part. Right now my end is having the money to support my family and being about to take the time to love them in the way they deserve to be loved. I hope that hasn't changed.

I also hope you know that I love you. I sometimes don't sound like it when I talk to us in the mirror, but I'm working on fixing it. Did I do it? I've loved you for as long as I've lived. I've loved every minute of being us. I've loved everything we've learned and every goofy thing we've done. I've loved our personality and just being who we are. I really hope that we are just the same, silly, goofy and utterly filled with love for everyone and everything. Willing to open our eyes wide and see the world and experience it as only we can.

Who ever we are now...I know we're awesome. Taylor Scout Smith taught us that.


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