Dear Cole

Dear Cole,
Last year, I wrote a letter to your sister filling her in on some little thoughts I had for her. This week, I write your letter about what I want to share with you , about love, life, parenting, jobs and careers, people and about being a boy and a man. About finding you and just you in this world we all get an opportunity to live in. And so we start dear Cole...

- Anna will one day be the only person that knew you from the day you were born, she will remember all of you.
- Trust in who you are and listen to your inner voice.
- You are going to make mistakes and that is more than okay.
- But, always own and apologize for your mistakes.
- I have learned from dad that teams teach you so much about life. Be a good team-mate in all ways.
- And always keep games in your life.
- It is up to us to teach you about how to respect people and consent and kindness. But hear me loud and clear, it is not just up to women to make sure that they are not hurt, it is up to me to make sure that I teach you it is never okay. Nobody is a prize that you earn.
- I do not know what social media will be like as you continue to grow, but I do know that some sort of privacy will always be in order.
- Be like your dad - use him as your guide in life.
- Use technology to connect with people, not to cut them out of your life.
- If you are around people who aren't kind, you are saying that is okay and it is not ever okay.
- Surround yourself with happy - people, places, careers. It just makes life easier if you're happy.
- And find people that make you laugh with your whole body.
- Don't stop talking to me or dad or Anna. No matter your age, we are always a team.
- Work hard for all you want.
- If you don't love your life, change it.
- Keep challenging yourself.
- Remember that you fought for a lot when you were just a baby, I expect the grown up version of you to do the same.
- Be gentle and loving to all.
- You have a smile that melts, use it wisely.
- You made me believe in love at first sight.
- But most relationships, take a lot longer than that.
- I will always be the first woman who loved you, but I promise to be kind to all that follow.
- It's all important and it will all get done.
- Don't waste time (being mad, or procrastinating or with people). We don't have very long.
- Help others.
- Own a pet (you know how I feel about dogs).
- Hold hands, it makes people feel special.
- Don't forget what a great snuggler you are.
- Have a happy childhood, everyday of your life.
- If you decide to become a father, you have a really good example in front of you.
- If you can picture yourself together long after your bodies change, and in the thick of kids and dream of your gray wrinkly years together, that's who you marry.
- People will inspire you or drain you - pick them wisely.
- You have a good heart sweetie, trust it.
- Nothing you do or say will ever make me love you less or more.
- We are always on your side, even when we don't agree with you.
- Your name means victory so you're already a winner.
- Know that we are here.
- But also know that you won't always need us.
- Know that we will always love each other.
- Know that we tried with you.
- We love you.
- We wanted you.
- We tried our best.
- We made mistakes, but we loved.

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