For the record, ALL Moms are influential – especially to their children – so as far as I read it, TIME asked Moms to write open letters to their kids. It’s not long, but here’s mine:
If there’s only one thing I can impress upon you in my life, it’s this: you have one life to live and it is my wish that you live it. Do what makes you happy. Do what makes your heart sing. Be the person you want to be. Daddy and I will love you no matter what. Don’t worry about us: what we think, how we feel, etc.; we got your backs. You’re going to fall and fail at times. That’s ok. That’s life. Be resourceful, be smart, think on your feet and follow your heart. It has been my joy and pleasure to watch you grow and be a part of the process. In the same way I made vows to your Dad, I have some vows to you too: I will love you no matter what. I will work my hardest to help you figure out exactly what it is that makes your heart sing. I will do my best to teach you how to figure out how to make your heart sing and pay the bills. I want you to be kind to each other and the world around you. When people are not kind in turn (there will be times), I don’t want you to turn to the other cheek and keep trying – I want you to walk away and realize that in your one life, you have little time to waste on people that don’t love you, grow with you and laugh with you. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and make memories – lots of them; especially good ones.
One of my favorite books to read to you both is: How Do I love You? Read it. A lot. Remember and know I read this to you a TON before you even had memories. And if you should happen to have kids of your own some day? Read it to them too because:
I love you as the moon, loves each shining star.
I love all that you will be and everything you are.