Recently, we've been walking through some stuff with our eldest. Sounds so old. He's 10. Nothing that is jaw-drop worthy and many would probably consider it 'normal' for a kiddo his age - even subdued compared to others they might know. Probably so. But I'd like to deal with it now (thank you very much) than have a bigger issue years down the road.
I want to enjoy every stage of his life and see him experience success in each. Neither of these things were happening for about 1-2 weeks. Too long of a time frame in my book. I was getting annoyed and irritated by his actions and reactions and, in retrospect didn't respond to either in a stellar manner. Definitely not up for the mother-of-the-year award.
Something had to change.
During my walk on Wednesday, I was having a conversation with God - doing more listening than talking this time around. That's never a bad thing. Even when He points out stuff that isn't so great in me.
The end result was a letter that I wrote and then shared in person with my son later that night. I don't really know what he thought of the whole thing. Maybe he thinks his Mom is a little whacked or that I care too much. I don't really care - he knows he is loved no matter what and in the end, that is pretty darn awesome.
Change happened. Not perfection but that's not what I'm looking for. I've seen him make choices intentionally and thoughtfully. I am so proud of him. And yes, I keep telling him that too.
The letter is definitely personal and I really wasn't planning on sharing it with whoever may happen upon this blog. But then I thought, how many parents have actually written a letter to their child and given it to them? I don't remember getting notes from my parents (other than cards for birthday and other special occasions) until I went away to college. And I still have those letters. I also thought about the fact that there might be some other mommas going through some of this stuff. Why not let them know they aren't alone. You aren't alone.
My first real-life letter to my son...and it probably won't be the last...
My son. You are awesome. A unique masterpiece, woven together by our Father. A gift given to Mommy and Daddy with the responsibility to raise you as a man who has a healthy awe of God. One whose actions and words will bring glory to His name. There is a leadership anointing on you. We've seen it since your youth. Great leaders are also humble servants.
When I see you - look at you - my heart melts. You are a promise fulfilled. You are a handsome young man and a blessing to us. You have many skills - gifts and talents. Some are similar to me and others to Dad. Some are unique to you - gifts trusted to you by our Creator.
We are entering a new season. You are definitely not a little boy anymore. You desire greater independence and the ability to explore and tackle the world you live in. You are also not quite an adult. There is still comfort in being under the protective arms of Mom and Dad. There is still the freedom in not having all of the responsibilities of life on your shoulders.
In this new season, the key is the balance of independence and responsibility.
The two are truly connected. Its also important for me to let you try out these new shoes - with the promise that as you adjust and possibly fall, I will be there to help you to your feet and encourage you to try again.
This is not easy for me. In the past couple of weeks, you have "stubbed your toe" and even "fallen" and I responded out of frustration. Why? Because I thought you were ready to handle walking at this level on your own. It's also not easy to see you "fall down"...especially when it doesn't just hurt you. As you get older, when you "fall", it hurts others too.
But, just as I've been there when you were taking your first steps at 12 months old, I give you my word that I am here now too. And no matter how many times you stub your toe, stumble or even fall flat on your face, I will help you to your feet and encourage you to walk again.
I love you Jeter. Words cannot truly capture all that is encapsulated in those words. You are a blessing and I am honored to be your Mom. Hopefully someday I'll also be someone you call "friend".
Love you always and forever,