Happy Birthday Marmalade -
I'm acutely aware that you are officially old enough to read this blog so I'll try not to embarrass you. I've been writing these letters to you before you could even read. I guess it's just my way of telling you how proud I am to know you while sharing a little bit of advice about how to navigate this wonderful merry-go-round called life.
10 years ago you were born on your Grandpa's 70th birthday. Because you are great at math you can ascertain that Grandpa is now super-old. He's also an amazing human being (there is no coincidence that you were born on the same day).
I am a macho dude so it is somewhat embarrassing that a 10 year old girl has achieved more in her young life than I ever will. Actually, I'm not macho at all and I couldn't be more proud of your achievements. You have earned every medal you have ever won and me being your coach may have made things seem more difficult from time to time. Sorry... I'm not sorry, I've never enjoyed anything in the world more than coaching you and your friends. You have a great group of friends!
In life there are people who receive things they do not deserve because they take short cuts. Fear not, the pretenders are always exposed and karma is a Motherfucker (don't tell your Mom I used that phrase).
There is nothing in life more fulfilling than earning success. The first time you cross over into the world of cheaters, you can never come back. Stay the course, keep working hard and I promise you that all your dreams will come true!
I met your mom in a bar, I haven't left her side since. Like you, she has the determination of a lion! I am so proud of her every day... she works hard to keep all the details organized all while being kind to everyone she meets (PS - when she yells at me, I deserve it).
Your brother came into this earth with a full head of hair. I was nervous before he was born but when I saw his beautiful face I knew exactly why the good lord put me on this earth. I know you don't recognize it now but your brother will always be your biggest fan, your protector and the person who is the closest link to your family.
As the years go by you will earn amazing achievements: championships, outstanding grades, promotions..... But, the best things in life come to us in the moments in-between. I'm so happy to have been able to spend the moments in-between with you.
I want to share a memory with you:
... There was a game we were losing, and you were frustrated, then kicked the ball the entire length of the field into the goal (right before the final whistle). Everyone around cheered!!! They were not aware who won the game, all they saw was your amazing athletic accomplishment!
You were so proud of yourself in that moment.
You should ALWAYS be proud of yourself!
You have a good heart. You genuinely care about people. You never give up. You are loyal to the people who love you. You are respectful. You know to listen before you talk. You make everyone who knows you proud to be your friend.
With all you know, I know my time of advising is coming to an end. Just remember one thing:
Respect Everyone But Don't Take Shit From Anyone!
I Love You So Much, Marley!
Welcome To The Double Digits!