If you remember from my last post, "To My Beautiful Daughter," both of my children had birthday's last month, and as I have done since before they were born, I had written a letter to each of the them; letters that are written on a weekly basis, and will one day be compiled into a book and given to them when the time is right.
For those of you who didn't read the last post, I'd suggest that you go and do that first, but if clicking over there is too much work, I'll post a brief excerpt for you (paraphrased for context):
"Typically my letters to them are based on goofy things they have said, the fun things we have done, the struggles that I encounter in raising them, and general updates to their life, but every year when their birthday’s roll around… well let’s just say that I tend to get a bit more sentimental.
Today I invite you all to read two of the letters that God willing, my kids themselves will one day read when the time is right. I'll warn you that they contain a lot of things that you have already heard me say on this blog and in my articles, so it may feel a bit redundant, but remember, these letters weren't written for you, they were written for them, and all the feelings that I have shared with you in raising them, well now one day they will get to read them too." So, last week was The Girl Child's letter, and today I'd like to share with you The Boy Child's Letter. Also, I will once again be sharing a few unblocked photos with you.
Thank you for reading.
To my son,
Wowzers buddy, you are five!!! I really can’t even wrap my head around that. As you remind me all the time, “momma, you have no babies left,” and you’re right, I don’t. Because as I’ve watched you grow over the last five years, you barely resemble the baby that I brought home from the hospital, and instead of the times in years gone by, now I’m watching a man grow up before my very eyes.
Sure, I still have tantrums to calm and routinely encounter a spaghetti covered face being buried into my clean white shirt while a little voice asks for a hug. Yes, I still have dirt on my floor, mud on my walls, monsters to scare out of the closet, and “pet bugs” brought into my house. I currently have a chair upstairs with only three legs, because you took one off this morning to “fix it,” and last night I realized that you colored one of my couch cushions with a green marker.
Because, you see, you’re still so very innocent in the ways in which you view the world, yet you are charging at life with a force that often blows me away. And sure, sometimes that frustrates me in ways that I never even thought were possible, but you also make me realize how much my love for you transcends everything else, because even when I am weary and worn, scrubbing crayons off the screen of my TV and using tongs to pry an entire box of Kleenex out of the toilet, every fiber of my being is alert and ready to tend to your needs, because I love you.
I love you so much that it scares me.
Every mother has that moment when a doctor places a new baby boy in her arms, and she realizes that she is going to be responsible for raising a man, and for many moms that task is a bit more daunting than raising a daughter, because we have never been men before. What do we know about living as men, and how are we now supposed to live in a way that will raise a good one?
If we are lucky, we will have a strong man at our side whose role as father will guide us in teaching our son's the path to manhood, but if we aren't so lucky, well, then it's all on us, and in this case, raising you was all on me.
How do I raise a man?
I didn’t know the answer to that, and it terrified me. So when the doctor placed you in my arms and I caught sight of your father standing in a corner, I pulled you in a little tighter, because I knew that my job was not just going to entail teaching you how to become a man, but also un-teaching you all the destructive things that your father was going to brand into your soul.
In fact, I knew from the moment that the ultrasound tech told me that you were a boy, that you and I were going to be on a special journey together, and it may be why I conveniently choose your very first outfit, as one that said “Mommy’s New Man,” because that is what you were. I knew, that in order for you to stand any chance in becoming the man that the world needs you to be, that I needed to protect your path into adulthood from the one man in our lives who was only going to destroy you; your father.
So there you were, 7lbs and the most important man in my life, and if I was going to raise you right, well then we were in this one together, because neither of us knew anything about becoming a man, and therefore our only option would be to figure it out together.
And we have. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret here… I don’t actually like playing cars. I’m also not that into watching the tractors next door plow the fields, I really couldn’t care less about screaming “LOOK! A FIRETRUCK!!” every time we pass one on the street, and I really, REALLY, do not like bugs.
But I like you.
So if you like it, well then I guess I will try and like it too, because that’s what a good teammate does to support you. And My Love, I do support you, and I always will, because we are a team. We are charging at this task together and if we succeed, it will most likely be because we picked each other up when we fell, cheered each other on when we needed it, and never, ever left the other one behind.
I will never leave you behind because you are my teammate; my son, my blood, my heart, and my purpose.
I love you, and at just five years old you’ve had enough people in your life fail to love you in the way that you deserved, but I promise, I will never be one of them.
Whatever you choose to do, wherever you choose to go, whomever you choose to be, I will be by your side.
So today, I toast to you, and to the five years you have spent stomping, jumping, and pounding out your path. I toast to the five years you have spent learning to become who the world needs you to be, and I thank you for letting me come along this journey with you. Because My Love, I’ve never known what it’s like to be a man, but I sure am enjoying the path we are both taking to figure that out.
We will do this buddy, because I’ve got your back, and if that means that the direction we are headed today is towards the tractor plowing the field or the bug scampering down the street, well then that is where we will go, because neither of us know the path to raising a man, but I’m open to helping you figure that out.
I will always be here to help you pave the path, read the map, give you direction when needed, but this is your journey. I’m already grown, and now I’m just coming back to help you do it too.
We’ve got this, because you’ve got me.
Five years down, and a lifetime to go.