Dear Henry, Nick and Sawyer
Being your mom has been and always will be the greatest adventure—and the greatest joy—of my life. There is nothing I love more than spending time with you.
One of my favorite memories from your childhood is of us reading Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Henry and Nick, as you graduate from high school this spring and head off to college, the message resonates with me now more than ever.
It seemingly happened in the blink of an eye. I can still hear the echoes of the three of you laughing and whirling around me on your tricycles and skateboards. Now you are young men (towering over me) ready to go out into the world. I could not be more proud and excited for you. There is so much that lies ahead.
As I see you off on your journey, like all mothers everywhere, I can’t resist the opportunity to give you a little advice (I am sure this comes as no surprise). And, Sawyer, this is relevant for you, too.
You will be faced with many decisions, large and small, and put in situations of both your own and other’s makings. It is not enough to be smart. You must be wise. But wisdom comes from navigating life’s challenges and reflecting on and learning from those experiences. Take your time; remember it is not a race. Be mindful of all your decisions. Stopping to consider the ramifications of your actions and words, even just for a few seconds, will help you live better lives and have better relationships.
Your grandparents raised me to know the importance of giving back and I hope that is something I have passed along to you. Working on our Foundation and its mission to empower women entrepreneurs has been profoundly rewarding. I am not telling you which causes should be important to you (though I do expect you to support equal opportunity for women). My hope is that you will discover your own way to make a difference. Find issues that you truly care about; don’t just stand on the sidelines, stand up for what you believe in.
Remember that being a gentleman is not a part-time job. Always treat everyone with kindness and respect. Be gracious. There is so much to see and to learn about different people, places, cultures and ideas. The world is a vast and extraordinary place. If you are open to all that it has to offer, and respectful of other traditions, your life will be infinitely richer.
Finally, success looks different for everyone. Be positive and proactive and get out of your comfort zone. Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned came from doing things I wasn’t sure I could—launching a business being one of them. And even if an experience is not all you hope it will be, you will learn something from it and take away valuable lessons.
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
The mountain is waiting.
So… get on your way!”
“So… get on your way!”—and remember that I will always be here for you, cheering you on and loving you more than you can ever imagine, at least not until you have children of your own.
I love you every second of every day!
P.S. Do not forget to call, text, email and come home to visit a lot!
Burch is an acclaimed fashion designer, philanthropist and entrepreneur