Joanna: Friends & Family Feels
Friends. Friends care about each other. Friends often like different things. Friends enjoy being together and doing things that the other really likes. Friends sometimes give up things for their friend. Friends say "Thanks for being my friend!" Friends like you for who you are. Friends are great. (You are great!)
P.S. Let's talk more about friends OK? OK!
No two people are exactly the same! EVEN Best Friends can be very different! "Opposites attract!!" Ever heard that? Sometimes we like people because they're different than we are! That's OK you know! Mom and I are really different people - sometimes different people help each other balance out. Do you have any friends that are different? Just be yourself and don't worry!
It's hard being the oldest kid in a family. People really expect you to set an example for the younger ones. To show, with your words and actions, the "right" way to act - to treat other people - to share - you name it. It's not easy, I know. Nothing is easy in life - or rather, a lot of very important things are not easy (but so worth it!). So try Joanna! Try for mom and I - try for Theo - and try for yourself. Keep it up!
Today would be my dad's 79th birthday. He was born in 1919. Next year he would be 80. It's hard for me to imagine what he would look like as an older man - he was only 58 when he died (13 years older than I am now). Happy Birthday Dad!! Hope you get as much joy from your kids and grandkids as I do!! Love ya - your son Bob.
Love you Joanna.
What is a friend? Someone you share your feelings with. Someone who cares about you and who you care about. Someone you like to be with, who makes you feel comfortable, safe. Someone you'd do anything to help. Someone who trusts you to keep a secret. Someone you can laugh with. Someone who can laugh at you and it doesn't hurt. Someone who you know is not perfect, and who knows you're not perfect either and it's okay. Someone you can cry to. Someone you would defend and who would defend you. Someone who would never make you do something if it wasn't good for you. Someone who encourages you to be yourself, to be your best. Someone you support whenever you can. Someone you make sacrifices for and who sacrifices for you too. Someone you forgive when they hurt you 'cause it happens. I love you so much!
So much goes on in a life today. What a complicated tapestry we weave - from the moment of our birth to our last breath. So many people we meet and even the least of them shape us somehow by our contact. The really big people in our lives - our family mostly and then our friends - shape us in incredible ways. Through it all the colored threads of ourselves form and reform over and over gradually taking on a shape that is unique - that is our life. Live it! Love it! Know it! Have fun with it! Be yourself!
Seems like a lot to do going down the road of seventh grade. Lots to study. Lots to learn, lots to play, lots to learn, lots of friends, lots of plans, lots to learn... We learn so much from our friends. We learn so much from our friends. It's so important that we choose good friends. You have many good friends I know. And you yourself are a good friend to many others - it works both ways. When I was growing up I was lucky to have so many good friends among my own brothers and sisters. Listen to your friends OK. Be a good friend. Grow and learn to love!
My brother Jim's daughter Genny is turning 21 tomorrow. That's hard for me to believe. I can remember when she was born like yesterday. I have a picture somewhere of Jim, a very young Jim, wearing no shirt and holding a naked baby Genny in his arms. He was so proud and so in love. One of the greatest, most powerful moments in a man's life is when he holds his newborn daughter or son in his arms for the first time and realizes that this is what it's all about.
I don't know why I'm writing this to you now - I was thinking about Genny because of her birthday and I was thinking how fast kids go from babies to adults and how fast you're growing up and how much I love you. My dad wasn't active in my life. He loved me and he worked and supported us and his presence was there but one on one he wasn't. I'm trying to do a better job. I hope I am.
Good morning honey! I love you so much! You know we're born to parents without a say as to who they are. We're born and our early years are spent in places where we don't have a choice - we don't get to choose our environment. Our group of friends we seem to choose but the pool we pick from is small and circumstantial. If we were born somewhere else our environment, our friends would be different. What if you were born and we lived on a farm? What if we were French? Or Italian? Or Russian? Or Chinese? How would you be different? I used to wonder what I'd be like if I was an only child and had been raised my whole life in Brooklyn? Would I have a ton of friends? Would I long to travel the world? Would I live with my mom and take care of her? Think about it.
A surprise party for Isabelle's 16th? A fun, appropriate idea! I would have liked to have seen her face when she walked in - must have been precious. It's nice to be thought of by your friends - makes you feel like a wanted part of the world. We are all men and women, girls and boys of our time. The times we live in are unique in so many ways yet the issues we must face are the same ones that have been around since the first humans. Love, hate, jealousy, passion, ambivalence, search for truth, search for what makes us "tick." You and your friends are embarking on the same journey that mom and I are still on, that our parents and their parents were / are on. Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open your mind and go!
I want for you to discover yourself and to be happy with that discovery - be happy with who you are. I want for you to find new talents in yourself all the time and to find ways to use those talents that benefit you and others as well. I want for you to love yourself first and then take that love outside and share it with others. I want you to understand that people change and grow better through love and support than by criticism. I want for you to understand that friends today will be friends tomorrow if you treat them that way. Yet your heart will never be so full that there won't be room for another and another and another... always!
I love watching you interact with your teachers (yes teachers) and friends at school. I know you want "BIG." I know you want out now and I can understand why. I also can see the bonds you have, the love you share, the fun it's all been, the good and the bad together have made a hearty soup and you've enjoyed it all. College, like high school or anything else, is what you make of it. When you put your whole self into something, so many new, unexpected yet exciting things come back to you. You discover things about yourself that you didn't know existed. You've discovered many things at BC. There's so much more of you waiting to burst out. Enjoy!