The last few weeks has made me think about the future and the world ahead of you all. The world has become a scary place and even though your youth shelters you from a lot of the hatred or evil that is happening in the world, I can't help but think your generation has a lot more stress and worry than any generation before.
I know there is no rule book for growing up, and even if there was, let's face it, those rules would not be followed at the best of times. But there is some advice and suggestions that me, as your mum, would love if you could try and remember throughout your life.
You boys are still very young and hang on my every word, but I know that there won't be many years left that you will do this. Chloe, you are heading towards the stage of your life that you will think I am the most unfair and unbearable mother who wants nothing more than to make your life miserable. But I promise, I am only looking out and after you - and the ironic thing about it is, you won't realise this until you are much older.
It is hard to watch that little girl who played with her Sylvanian Families from morning to night grow up into an independent young woman who needs me less every day.
So if you'll allow me, here are some words to remember...
Boys, right now your career aspirations are as varied as an astronaut builder to a pirate. As you grow, remember to keep that creative and eclectic side to your career aspirations. Hey! who knows if they find life on another planet there could be room for a building company to take up the tender! Whats NASA's number??! There is so much more to life than a 9-5 job, right now, age 6, you have no reason to doubt your ability to be anything in this world...remember that in 20 years, because as you grow older life will try and suck that invaluable confidence from you.
Chloe, you are thinking of a career as a midwife, I think this says so much about you as a person. A caring, selfless young girl who loves to bring joy into people's worlds...on a good day ;-) My advise for you is the same, whatever you choose to do make sure it makes you excited to wake up on a Monday morning for work, that's a good starting point.
Keep hold of your good friends, when you are older your oldest friends will be like family. Good friends especially school friends will know you inside and out and you can be yourself around them and if you are anything like me that means you can be as weird and as daft as you like!
Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and allow you to shine and be you. Grow up at your own pace, if you are not ready to do something or something makes you uncomfortable that is your gut telling you something. Listen when your gut is telling you something, it's like me ALWAYS USUALLY RIGHT!
In your life, keep some traits with you, be empathetic, have genuine concern for people, be kind, be conscientious, try not to procrastinate to much (a little is okay), be as creative as you can, be open with others and most especially with yourself and always remember your brain is the same as any other part of your body, if you think at any stage of your life it feels off or something is broken, talk to someone and try and heal it. Always remember its okay not to be okay sometimes, but what you need to do is as simple as this...talk.
If I could ask you to make sure you did one thing EVERY SINGLE DAY it would be this...to laugh. To have a genuine belly laugh at least once a day, I promise it will do you and the people you are with the world of good... but remember to involve the people you are within on the joke because well, you will be seen as a bit of a weirdo sporadically breaking out in tears of laughter every day!
Travel, feed your soul with travel. Travel the world most mystical, concealed and far-flung places that are not listed in any travel books. Fill your life with adventures and not things. There is a quote that goes:
"Travelling, it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller"
Remain close to each other as siblings, Chloe tell your brothers all about their Granda Dessie they never met. You are the only one who can tell them what he was like as a Grandad and the funny traits and memories you have of him. Remember to always think of your sister who watches over you, remember you are all very lucky to have a guardian angel like Grace looking and watching over you. Keep her memory alive long after I am gone. Look out for each other, you are family and family means being there, whether you want to or not, its just about being there.
Always keep your heart open and your mind open. Chloe, remember you will kiss a lot of frogs (well hopefully not too many) before you find your prince, but if you need a benchmark for a good man, look no further than your dad. That song by Picture This "Take my Hand" when he says "I'll treat you like your father treats your mother"... I love that line because if you find someone who is even a quarter the man your dad is you are on to a winner.
Boys, try and not upset too many girls (or boys). If you say you are going to call them, please call them! Don't play games, be a gentleman. Its always important to hold a door open, pull out a seat, give her your coat. It may seem like a bit of craic but do not pretend you are your brother (they are identical twins for readers who do not know!) if you are going on a date. It will not be hilarious I promise you! Oh and always, always, always, put the seat down!
So that's it! Just a snippet of advice for you as you grow up. I don't know it all nor do I declare to (that's a lie!), but if you find you are ever lost or needing guidance take a peek at this.