Saturday, December 14, 2013

Letter to my Newly-Five-Year-Old

Dear D,

This week you turned five. In just thirteen short years, you will be an adult and my hands-on parenting days will be over. I will step back and see the man you have turned out to be. Hopefully, all the hours we've spent together and all the prayers your daddy and I have prayed over you will have helped you become the man God created you to be.

If the last five years are any indication, I think that day will come much too quickly.

Tonight, we were at Target where you were proudly paying for the big flashlight and two Hot Wheels cars you bought with your very own money made up of money you have been diligently saving over the last few months, and partly from a generous gift of cash from your Uncle Chris and Auntie Kelly for your birthday. As you stood holding your newly prized possessions, we talked about how it is our role as your parents to teach you everything you need to know to take care of yourself, a home, a car, a family. By the time you graduate from high school, we want you to know how to pay your bills, budget, save, and give. We want you to be able to cook more than a few meals from scratch and know how to plan a menu. We want you to know how to show the people you love how much your care for them with both your words and your actions. We also want to do show grace and kindness to those you find harder to love. We want to you to be confident as you step out into the great big world. Seeing you with that look of pride on your face today, I saw a glimpse of that man inside my baby boy.

Today, you are insanely smart, curious, funny, tender-hearted, generous, and loving. I hope you will always be those things. At the same time, I know too well that life can change in an instant. In a few weeks, it will be ten years since the day I slipped on some ice and broke my brain. Even as a toddler, you knew the difference between my good days and my bad days. God gave you an early ability--and willingness--to discern when a tantrum was exactly what Mommy didn't need. So many times, you made my heart feel so much better, even when my headache still raged on. From a bowl full of marshmellows and flax crackers, to a hug, to tucking a quilt around me, to laying your chubby cheek against my aching body, you have a wonderful way of loving me (and Daddy!) and I pray you never lose that gift.

Because I know that what you are today is no promise of who you'll be tomorrow, I must say this. No matter what happens to you, no matter what life brings you, or doesn't bring you, no matter if you really do become a rocket scientist as you are currently obsessed with doing, or circumstances prevent you from fulfilling any of the dreams you have your life, no matter what, all I want for you, all Daddy wants for you, is to know these three truths:

1. You are loved.
2. You are enough.
3. We are proud of you.

I read once that the words we speak to our children become their inner voice. I tell you these things--over and over and over until you roll your eyes at me and say, "I know, Mommy!"--because I want these truths to be your inner voice.

You are loved.

We have talked to you about the two sisters waiting for you in heaven. On that Easter weekend six years ago when Daddy and I found out that your new life was in me, we were so happy and so scared. We didn't want to say goodbye to another baby before we had a chance to say hello. We wanted you so much. I had such hard time keeping you safe in my tummy until it was safe for you to come out. Your months in my womb were bathed in prayer for your safety and for the long, happy, healthy life I wanted you to live. And when you were born, you were perfect. You still are. Simply because you are the boy God created for us.

You are enough. 
Nothing you do or say will make me love you more. Your kind actions might make it easier to feel love towards you, but my love for you is a choice based on the fact that you are you. Nothing you can say or do will ever make me love you less. Your words may pierce my heart, but my love for you is a choice that will never waver, as hard as it may be for me, at times, to express that love. Daddy and I may have our own hopes and dreams for you, but  what is more important is that we help you discover the hopes and dreams God has put in your heart for your own life. What you do, what you wear, what you have, who you know...ultimately, these things can all be lost. If you know that you are enough--that you are valuable--simply because God created you, than all of those things become blessings to be enjoyed, not measures of your worth.

We are proud of you. 
Daddy and I will always be on your side. It may not always feel like it to you, but we hope that you trust us when we say that we want what's best for you. We remember what it's like to be young and living in the moment, and we know what it's like to be older and can see the value of considering how today's choices impact tomorrow's consequences. We don't want an easy life for you. We want you to create a life that is mixed with both the delight of discovering skills that come quickly and the self-satisfaction of working hard to develop abilities that take a lot of effort. Now that you are in school, you are becoming aware of what things are easy for you, and which are more difficult. And you are learning to see that those things are not the same for everyone. Our pride in you does not come in the abilities you have, and our pride is not lost on you for the skills that you don't have, but we celebrate you in the process of developing your abilities, however competent you ultimately will be in them.

It's after 1 am and I couldn't sleep because I am so in love with you and so proud to be your mommy. In those dark days when I lost my job, my savings, my home, quite a few friends, and really, my identity...well, I wondered if my life would ever have anything good in it again. Then I met your daddy. And just when I thought my heart couldn't be any fuller, God gave us you.

***Just now, you wandered into my craft room, Curious George held tightly in your arms. You said, "I need you, Mommy. I'm having a bad dream. Will you take care of me?" To take care of you, to you, means to snuggle and cuddle and talk about happy things. So I am signing off to settle in with you, to talk about the wonders of the universe, and to embrace this gift of you being my baby boy one more night.***

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love you.


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  1. Well said. I hope this also means I have spoken well into your inner self. Love you dad

  2. Well said. does this mean I have spoken well also into your inner self. love dad

  3. Such a sweet letter to your precious boy! What a wonderful idea, to write them a letter. My oldest is 7 and my youngest is 5. We too had stressful pregnancies, praying every day for our little one to make it; to not have to say goodbye at the end. It just makes us appreciate life a little more, I think. {hugs} Gina

  4. I didn't expect to get so emotional when I read this letter. It was truly touching and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I found your blog because of your cool sewing table and the stayed to look around a bit. I read your wonderful letter to your son and it brought tears to my eyes. Our sons also have two angel sisters waiting for them someday. My heart knows how hard it is and how scary it can be to wait to have a baby arrive and to be loved. I have also written a letter to my son who I believe saved my life from sadness and has given me the special name of mommy. My older son, when he was younger, told me he had angels with him all the time. Two girls who would come to him and ask if I was okay and he's say yes mommy is fine. Your son is so blessed to have you as his mom.

  6. What a wonderful letter to your son. It brought tears to my eyes. Boys need moms and dads to tell them they are loved and are perfect just the way they are.


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