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Dear William,

Growing up there were so many things I wanted to be – archeologist, teacher, marine biologist, psychologist, writer. My want for those careers would change as my interests changed, and as I changed. When I went away to college, I first declared psychology as my major but then quickly switched to English. Reading books and writing were what I really loved more than anything. I didn’t have a goal in mind. I didn’t know what I would do with an English degree. (Many people asked me that question and I never had a clear answer.) All I knew was that I enjoyed reading anything I could get my hands on. I enjoyed listening to professor’s lecture on the meaning of poetry. I enjoyed staying up all night writing ten page papers on theories of what characters represented. Those lessons and exercises meant something to me. I felt fulfilled by that kind of work.

Fast forward to present day. If you asked me what I want to be when I “grow up” I wouldn’t have an answer for you. Your father and I have had this conversation countless times. I know he wants to be a guitar player, photographer and a sandwich maker. (Your dad can make a killer sandwich. Just wait.) Will he do those things as a career? Your guess is as good as mine. Will I ever be a poet or write that novel I’ve talked about for the last ten years? I don’t know.

What I can tell you is this – when your father and I have that conversation, and I get down on myself for not knowing what I want to be or do, I always come back to this – what I have wanted more than anything is to be a mother. The last few years when we would discuss our plans for the future or how your father can make his career dreams come true, I always say this: I just want to be a mother. I want a family. I want to make enough money to take a few vacations a year with my husband and my children. I want to make memories. That is my bigger purpose – to be your mother.

I say this to you for two reasons: 1. You are my biggest dream fulfilled. You are what I have wanted and prayed for. No job or career could possibly fulfill my heart’s desire as much as the moment when you and I first lock eyes. I want you to always know that. 2. You may not have a career or job in mind growing up. You may feel as lost as me sometimes. My advice is to do what makes you most happy and the rest will fall into place. Your father may not play guitar for a living or be a full-time photographer but his band has opened for some impressive acts and he does get paid to take photographs every couple of months. Don’t worry if you aren’t driven by one thing. Life is so much more than that.

I love you my sweet boy.