Before I get too old and forget I want you to know, I was just like you. I was small and young once and I made mistakes, I still make them, but I was never loved any less by the people that mattered. I broke things, I lied, I stole and I cheated. Chances are you will too. That's okay. The action's aren't okay.. but you are okay. It doesn't make you a bad person, it doesn't make you evil, it just makes you someone who made a bad choice.. human. Hopefully that will be the full extent of your missteps.. but if it isn't I will still love you. No matter what you do, I will love you.
One day you're going to listen to music that I think is terrible. That doesn't make it terrible.. it just means I don't like it. It's okay, you can. You're probably going to date someone I don't like.. you might even marry them. That's okay, I don't have to like them, but for you I will love them with all my heart. Anyone precious to you is precious to me. You're probably going to have sex before you're actually ready, and if I find out I'll be mad and embarrassed, but I did it too. I'm going to hound you to do your homework even though I rarely did mine, and I'm going to give you chores even though I hated them. If you get bullied, I'm sorry. I was too. There is no right way to handle it. I'll probably tell you to ignore them but I ignored them and it doesn't work. Violence works... but I want you to be better than that.
You'll want to spend money on things that I think are stupid. If it's your money buy what you want, you need to learn to make your own choices. I made stupid decisions with my money, even if one day selective memory has me tell you otherwise. I bought movies, books, music and all sorts of junk I didn't need and very rarely did my money find its way into a savings account. I had to ask my parents for help.. even when I didn't want to. It's okay to be embarrassed about it, but it's also just as okay to ask for help. I will always be here for you, don't be afraid to ask..even if my help comes with an unsolicited lecture.
With any luck you will be better than me. I want you to be better than me. Smarter, more enlightened, more self-assured, stronger, and more easy going. I want you to forge your own path even if that means leaving mine. I'll always try to give you advice, sometimes it will be right, but sometimes it will be wrong. I'll always think it's right. The world and possibly me might make you feel like an outcast. I and the world will be wrong. It's okay to be different and it's okay to be unique. Don't be afraid of having an opinion I don't agree with. Even if you're the only one who thinks it.. your truth is still truth.
If you have children of your own one day, I hope you try to fix all of my mistakes. If I tell you the way your parenting is wrong I want you to smile, nod, and do whatever you think is right. I do however make no apologies for spoiling them. Don't worry, your grandparents spoiled you too. I want you to know that sometimes I'm afraid.. and it's okay to be afraid. It's okay to be unsure, it's okay to be a little cautious, but it's also okay to experience life with a wild abandon that no one can match.
Finally I want you to know it is your life, not mine. Live it your way. I'm just here as an example of what works and what doesn't. Hopefully I can look back on this and it will keep me honest. Most of all I hope you'll see this and realize I was human... just like you.