To my kids when you doubt, 

Oh, my sweet babies. You’re still young now, but the years are coming. Fast.

Soon, you’ll start to notice that your socks don’t match.

Soon, you’ll start to care that your hair is long or short or not the color the world thinks it should be.

Soon, you’ll question if you’re enough.

I hate that this day is coming. But I can’t keep you in a bubble forever. I must teach you to navigate this world. Because it’s so good. I promise. Even in the dark, it’s so good.

You just have to believe in its goodness. You just have to believe in yourself.

It sounds silly now. “Believe in myself? Isn’t that something all moms say?”

But kids, please listen to me. I truly believe confidence will set the tone for the rest of your life. It can be the difference between success and failure. Friendships and isolation. Love and hate.

It will make you who you are. It will help you change the world.

See, there will be times when you fail. There will be moments when you screw up so badly and hurt others. I hope these moments aren’t often, but they will occur. And when they do, I hope you still believe in your worth. I hope you’ll know that you’re still valuable when you lose. I hope you’ll know how to say sorry when you mess up.

All of that, guys? All of that takes confidence.

And when you win? When you make the final shot at the buzzer that takes your team to state. When you get accepted to the college of your dreams or the dance team you love. When you ace the test, or win that prize. When you succeed.

Promise me you’ll be humble. Promise me you’ll celebrate with those who love you the most, but not be boastful. Promise me when you get where you’re going, you’ll turn around and help someone else.

All of that? All of that takes confidence.

When someone tries to hurt you. If a person says or does something that makes you uncomfortable. Or if you see someone hurting another person. Kids, you have to speak up. You have to protect yourself and those around you. You have to stand for the weak and fight for goodness. Promise me you’ll be a voice for the voiceless. Promise me you won’t stand for anything but kindness and love. 

All of that will take so much confidence. 

When your heart is broken, please don’t stay in that anger for long. I know it’s hard to lose someone you love. Heartache is a pain I wish I could shield you from forever. But it will happen. You’ll have break-ups in love and friendship.

You’ll lose loved ones along the way. It will hurt so badly. You will wonder how to go on. But you must. You must promise me you’ll move on. Whatever the situation. Whatever the circumstance. Because you, my sweet children, deserve to love again.

All of that? All of that takes confidence.

And someday, guys, someday, your dad and I will be gone. God-willing, it’s well before your time. But I need you to know, even when I’m not here with you, I’m still rooting for you. Cheering from the sidelines. Even when you doubt. Even when you question. Even when you wonder.

I promise you this, you’ll never have to wonder with me. Your biggest dreams? Your wildest goals? I know you can accomplish them all. I will be your biggest cheerleader now and forever. Whether I’m here on earth or shouting your name in Heaven. I believe in you. That’s something you will never have to doubt.

And finally my babies, my two daughters and one son, gosh I love you guys. But the crazy thing? And trust me, this is hard for me to imagine, but it’s the truth: God loves you even more than I do. How is that possible? I don’t know. He just does. He loves me, too. Keep Him in your life. Teach others about His love. He made every inch of your precious soul. He knows you have so many good things headed your way. He believes in you more than anyone will. Keep Him close, and you’ll always win.

I love you forever and ever,

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.