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My greatest joy, my angel on earth, my mini MVP.

Over the last nine years, I’ve watched you grow into a compassionate, kind and thoughtful young man. The traits that made me fall for your father [Carmelo Anthony] are the very things I see flourish in you each day. The way you think about others before yourself. The way you treat people with kindness and respect, no matter what. You are gentle and well-mannered, like your father, but also passionate and strong-minded.

The day you were born, everything changed for me. I no longer worked so that I could give myself the things I needed or wanted. I worked for you, first and foremost, not just so that I could give you everything you needed and wanted, but so that you could learn by example that the road to success is not paved for you by your parents, but comes through hard work, determination and sacrifice.

We are blessed to live a privileged life, one that your father and I have worked so hard to provide. But that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing to the top. Wealth and success are short-lived without a strong work ethic and above all else, a gracious and grateful attitude. Never take for granted the things you have, the achievements you have made and the people around you.

When people ask me “What do you think Kiyan will be when he grows up?” I’m excited by the fact that I honestly don’t have an answer. You are capable of so much and passionate about so many things. I see in you boundless potential, and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.

Kiyan, you’ve shown me the kind of love I’ve never known. You’ve taught me more than I think I’ll ever be able to teach you (but that won’t stop me from trying!). It’s hard for me to even remember life before you. One day when you have children of your own, you’ll understand what all this means. But for now, know that I love you beyond measure, I am proud of you, and I can’t wait to watch you grow into the man your father and I already dream you will become.

I love you forever and always, Mommy. Xo

Anthony is an actress (on Power), producer and best-selling author of The Power Playbook: Rules for Independence, Money and Success

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