A letter to my Sweet P.
There will be a letter to your brothers as well. Though they have as much to learn from this one as you do. But I will start with you. So I can mark down the lessons I am learning now. In the hopes that you won't have to learn them yourself.
We call you Sweet P. It started when I was pregnant. A way to bond with you without having to give away your name. It stuck. And you are sweet. Sweet and truly joyful. And sassy. People may say you get that from me. I'm not sorry. But calling you Sweet P does not mean you are not brave and smart and funny and strong. You hear that as often as you hear you are beautiful. They almost always follow a compliment about your beauty. I say "...and you're also smart and strong and brave." Let that start to sink in young.
You are bright. You are a shining star. My love, don't ever shine more softly to make your life or the lives of those around you easier. If you are too bright, they can look away or get sunglasses. Do not dim your light. It doesn't help.
Don't lessen yourself. Ever. Your charm or wit or strength or bravery. Whether it is to make friends, or placate a boss or pave a smoother relationship road. It doesn't serve anyone.
Don't wait for help or put off what you are capable of doing to make someone else feel a certain way - a friend, a boss, a co-worker, a partner. There is no growth there. For anyone.
Don't make yourself small to make someone else feel big. That just doesn't end well. You have changed you and gifted another something that may end up, to them, feeling hollow and untrue. Or the exact opposite which is equally undesirable.
Don't follow a path because it is expected or because you should. Man, I hate that word - should. It takes away all your power. DO follow what makes your heart sing and your eyes light up and your hands all chatty (you'll learn what that means.). Your path is yours. I have veered left on many occasions. Those, in hindsight, have been my best decisions. Follow your heart, it always knows the way.
Life is a tricky thing. Ultimately, everyone wants to love and to belong. It seems silly to boil it down to such simple wants. But for most people that is it. They want to love and be loved and they want a group of people to whom they feel like they belong. The best way to find this, to let it help you flourish and to maintain it, is to be yourself. To show up all shine and smarts and sass and weaknesses and rough spots and know you are worthy. Because you are. And on the days that that doesn't work (because it won't always work), find those forever people who know you and love you. All of you. Me, your brothers, your closest confidants. Let them hold you, heal you, right you and send you off again. You will find your place. It is there. Stay true to you and step into it. That is the best way to serve the world and those you love. Don't shortchange the world by shortchanging yourself. You were meant to be here in all your little and fierce ways! Remember that. Always.
A short addendum.
No means no. It does not mean ask again in five minutes, five days or five weeks. It does not mean beg or plead. It does not mean bargain, blame or get mad. It is not an invitation for further discussion. It is not a situation where you need to explain yourself. No is a complete sentence. If the person tries to continue the conversation, that is on them not you. Because once YOU say it? Your work there is done.*
*Unless I have asked you to clean your room, do your homework/chores or get me something from upstairs. We will work on these exceptions.