Heidi Gutman/Courtesy Elizabeth Vargas

I remember the day each of you was born like it was yesterday. I remember waking up each morning around the time you were due, wondering, “Will it be today? Will I finally meet this miracle, this precious amazing baby growing, and kicking and pushing his way into this world? Who will you be? What will you become? What can I teach you?” I never suspected in all those months I so excitedly marked—saving every grainy ultrasound photo—that it would be you, both of you, who would teach me.

Yes, I held your hands as you stood, radiating joy and wobbly determination as you tried to take your first step—and then the flash of fear and the flush of pride as you realized I had let go and you were walking on your own. I ran down the promenade, shouting encouragement—“don’t look down, keep pedaling!”—as you learned to ride a bike on your own. My heart broke when you cried in nursery school because you didn’t want me to leave, and then it broke again when you stopped crying in kindergarten because you didn’t need me to be with you anymore. I reassured you that the gentle waves were safe, as the ocean water swirled around our ankles, sucking our feet into the wet sand. I tried to teach you about grace in competition when you played soccer and basketball. “Let your playing do the talking,” I would lecture. “Just do your best, work hard, and be a good sport.” But somewhere along the line, I realized that it was you, Zachary and Samuel, who were also teaching me.

You have taught me how to be brave, how to fight hard, but also how to let go. You have taught me how to treasure the moment, the present, and not miss it because I am too worried about what might happen, or too ashamed of what already has. You have taught me I cannot control everything—no matter how hard I try—whether that’s failing to convince you to finish your dinner, or grieving at my inability to shield you from the unkindness in the world.

I see your love and grit and grace every single day. Your love never wavers, and I treasure it. You are both boys now, one of you on the cusp being a young man. I realize that cliché about time flying is true—and as the memories of your first hours, days, months and years on this earth are indelibly imprinted upon me, there are new ones to add, every single day. I rejoice and marvel in all the promise of your young lives—everything is all laid out in front of you, waiting to happen. Everything is brand new again for me as I watch your triumph on the basketball court at the weekend games, your frustration with that nightly algebra homework, your wonder as the girls begin calling and texting and face timing. I watch and I sigh to myself, it has only just begun.

On this Mother’s Day I am profoundly grateful for the greatest gifts ever given me: the two of you. As you make your way into and through this wonderful world, remember, you have just one life to live. Live it to the fullest. Treasure it, savor it, even the parts of it that hurt, for they can teach you something.

Be brave. Be bold. Be kind. And always know you are loved.

Your Mom

Vargas is an award-winning journalist and anchor for ABC News and 20/20

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