Dear Sofia & Arlo,
I was going to write you a letter each listing all my hopes for you for the future – but I realised what I wanted for one, I want for you both.
Really, all I want for you both is for you to be happy, like really, really contented belly happy – because if you’re truly happy, you’re richer than most.
I want you both to be honest, always. Of course, there’ll be times when you’ll tell little white lies and times when you get yourself stuck in a situation that you shouldn’t, but just know – the truth does always come out so be honest, upfront and own your decision. And never try to tell me you haven’t been smoking when you have, because I know all the tricks in the book.
Be kind – it’s so easy to judge and point fingers but there’s an expression ‘be kind – everyone is facing their own battles‘, sometimes it’s the loudest people that are the saddest. So just try to be kind always. This is one that I’m really trying to get better at myself, so if I can ingrain this in you at a young age then hopefully being kind and not too judge people too quickly, will just be natural to you both.
Try alcohol – just know your limit, though if truth be told, I’m 35 and I still don’t know mine. Your dad’s 38 and he’s even worse than me. I’m afraid it’s more of a case of do as we say and not as we do on this one kids!
Don’t put yourself under too much pressure, I truly believe that health is more important than money, fame and successes. If you can have it all – bonus. Just do your best, that’s all me and daddy want for you. Try, push yourself, be determined and always just do your best. We would rather you be broke but happy. Unless that means you’ll still be living with us when you’re 35. Don’t be that broke.
I know it’s easier said than done but try not to cave into peer pressure – there’ll be school friends who want you to smoke, drink, take drugs and have sex. I’m not naive to think you won’t do all of those things – at least once – but make informed choices. I know you’ll find it hard to believe, but me and daddy were young once and I know it’s not the ‘done’ thing but you can always talk to us, about anything. I’ll probably be cringing inside but I’d rather you felt you could tell me or ask me anything. But maybe not all the details.
Always communicate – it sounds really silly but the breakdown of communication is usually the downfall to so many friendships and relationships. It’s easy to be lazy and message behind a computer screen but be sure to always meet up with friends too. It’s really important. Friends are like extended family. I couldn’t do without mine and I hope you’ll feel this too as you start to build stronger bonds with people.
A bit like not caving into peer pressure. it’s important to know your own minds – I want you to be strong minded, listen to other peoples point of view and take them on board, but don’t be a pushover. You can be easygoing but don’t let people walk all over you or force you to do things which you don’t believe in.
Be there for each other – Me and daddy were never hugely maternal/paternal but we always knew that (if we were lucky enough to) we always wanted two children. Actually, truth be told I wanted three but then you two came along and I swiftly sent your father to have his swimmers sent back up the U-bend. We wanted two children in the hope that you’d always have a friend, someone close that you can turn to when you can’t turn to us. I hope that the fact you can’t borrow each others clothes and argue over make up (or maybe you will, trans is getting pretty popular these days…) won’t mean you can’t be close and I really hope that you’ll always have a strong bond.
But above all, whatever journeys you choose to take, wherever you end and whoever you end up with – a partner or as a lone ranger – I will always be here, no matter what.
Love you both always. Even when you are complete mini-knobs and won’t go to sleep.