“Life’s About Changing…Nothing Ever Stays the Same…”

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Dear Soph-
Your dad did something today that I never thought he would do. He sold his 2002 Pontiac TransAm WS6…with a Corvette engine (dad requested I add that fact in here).

Now, seeing as how they stopped making that car in 2002 and Pontiac went out of business several years ago, this will, most likely, mean absolutely nothing to you.

But let me tell you…this is a big deal.

Your dad loved that car. And when I say “love,” I mean I’m pretty sure there were days when I came in a close second. He only drove it in the warmer months of the year…April 2 to October 2 to be exact. That Spring day in April became like another holiday in our house. We would have a countdown to April 2…I’m surprised a special calendar wasn’t displayed on our fridge. And in the fall and winter I would catch him opening the garage to just take a peek…or sitting in the driver’s seat and revving the engine, no doubt daydreaming about tearing out of the driveway for a joyride.

I must admit the car was a head turner. I felt “cool” riding in it. And I know your dad did, too. Your dear old mom never drove it, as I am incapable of driving stick (a skill you should probably learn one day), but I have many fond memories of riding shotgun as your dad sped around our little town.

While I don’t have an affinity for cars like your dad and Grandpa Don do, I can certainly appreciate the uniqueness of that car. Other car enthusiasts seemed impressed by it when we were out and about…often stopping dad to ask him questions. What year? How much horsepower? What kind of engine? I thought it was cute how much your dad liked the attention.

What I realize now, as I see your dad struggling with his decision, is that the TransAm was a part of his identity. He was a different man when he got it back in 2002. With a different outlook on life, a different job, different challenges and priorities. The car represented freedom and it made him stand out.

But I think he has realized that, over time, he has taken on a new identity. He has grown up and changed in so many wonderful ways. He has different priorities in life…different interests. And there are so many other things that represent the incredible man he is today.

There is something to be said for nostalgia…for holding on to our past. For holding on to the good memories and a piece of that person we were. There is a comfort in it. A type of security blanket.

But there is also something to be said for looking ahead. Making hard decisions and choices to benefit the new life you’re living and the wonderful new direction you are headed.

Change can be scary. But change is a part of life. It’s necessary, though uncomfortable, at times.

You will be faced with so many choices in your life. So many decisions to make. Some will be effortless and some will really make you think. But don’t shy away from those hard decisions. Don’t shy away from change. And hard or scary as it may be, don’t let nostalgia stop you from moving ahead.

I am so proud of your father.

Love, Mom

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My Views on Make-Up: Less is More…and Sometimes None is More

Dear Soph-
One of my absolute favorite things to do is kiss your cheeks. Especially when you are sound asleep in my arms. They are the cutest, chubbiest, smoothest, most perfect cheeks I have ever seen.

You have such beautiful, smooth skin. It’s amazing. It’s so soft! It’s so blemish free!

It so does not need make-up.

So here’s the deal. When you – inevitably – come to me in junior high (hopefully no sooner than that) asking me to buy you some foundation or eye shadow or mascara, I will tell you what my mom told me.

You don’t need it.

And be glad you don’t need it. Because there will come a time – way down the road – when you actually will need it. But what’s the rush? Milk this time for all its worth. You’re young. You should look young. You have the rest of your life to be a grown up and look the part. It is such a privilege to be a kid…and I will do everything in my power to make sure you have plenty of time to just be a kid. And that includes not letting you clog up your pores with unnecessary make-up. Or make yourself up to look any older than you are.

All it does is cover up your natural beauty. You’re perfecting what’s already perfect. And that’s just a waste of time.

That being said, I will (as my mom did) make exceptions for special occasions…school dances and the like. But, please, no black lips or overuse of eyeliner. You are a young lady – not a raccoon.

Consider this fair warning, kid. Please don’t beg me in the aisles of CVS to buy foundation. I won’t do it. Because you don’t need it. You are flawless without it. You are a natural beauty – inside and out.

But I will meet you in the middle and buy you some tinted moisturizer…with SPF 30.

Love, Mom