Monday, December 22, 2014

Ending 2014: A letter to my oldest

My dear First Born,

Well it’s been quite a year, hasn’t it, Kid? When you woke up on January 1, 2014, you probably didn’t imagine that the next 365 days or so would pan out quite like they have, huh?

Yeah, me neither.

A year ago, we were in quite a different place, you and me. Things were rough. Real rough. You “hated” me, as you told me on multiple occasions (though I never in my heart believed it,) and though I loved you like only a mother could, I sure didn’t like you very much. I had exhausted every parental and maternal means of trying to control, fix, change and/or bend you to my will (aka what I thought was “right”,) but to no avail. In turn, you pulled further and further away from me and into a world where I just couldn’t touch you anymore. 

Those were some dark days, Dude. I look back and I don’t know how we survived them. But here’s the kicker. We DID. And as this roller coaster of a year draws to a close, I want you to know something that I’ve probably told you a hundred, thousand times, and I hope one day you’ll truly hear my words and believe what I’m saying.

My son, my beautiful, beautiful son - I’m so proud of you. I’m so incredibly, thankfully, indisputably, undeniably PROUD of you. I’ve said it so much I wonder – there has to be a better word than proud. A BIGGER word than proud. There’s not, really. I even looked it up. There’s no better word to explain how my heart swells when I see you and talk to you and see pictures of you and learn more about what you are discovering about yourself.

I told you before – you were my first. My experiment in parenting, if you will. You got the short end of the stick on that one, Bud, because I had NO idea what I was doing. I made some missteps that’s for sure. I did a few things right and a whole lotta things wrong. But you stuck with me, didn’t you? And you managed to go and grow up on me, didn’t you? And now look at you. 

You’re stunning. Simply stunning – inside and out. You’re everything I dreamed a son would be and a few things I never imagined. You made me realize that there’s no cookie-cutter kid – there’s no “right” way to be or “wrong” way to be. There’s just an authentic way to be – and that is you – always has been. Trouble was, that authenticity wasn’t accepted too readily, so it kind of got discombobulated and a little lost along the way.

Now I hope you see that who you are – this authentic, wonderful you – is the foundation of everything you need to succeed in whatever you choose to do with your life. And I hope you’ll have the confidence in yourself to never waver from that authenticity. Because I see the real you, Son, and it’s amazing. Truly amazing. 

As I look at recent pictures of you, I see an incredibly handsome, complex, pensive young man. But I don’t have to look very closely to also see that blond, bright blue-eyed inquisitive little boy – the one I’d say smiled “with his whole face.” Because you do. And I’ll never tire of seeing that smile – or that face. 

We started 2014 at the bottom, Son. My hardest tears I cried for you, and my greatest happiness was because of you. But you and me, we’re ending it on an uphill swing, and I see nothing left but the top, don’t you? Sure, we may slip a little here and there. But slipping's OK as long as we can regain a foothold or have someone to catch us. And you have people to catch you - even if it's not me. And honestly, it probably WON'T be me. But that's OK. You'll be OK.

And as we end this indescribably difficult yet incredibly powerful year, I want to tell you, “thank you.” Thank you for letting me love you so much. Thank you for finally telling me you love me back. Thank you for letting me hug you for as long as I want to because I need to, and for letting me hold your face in my hands to tell you how beautiful you are. Thank you for doing the work. You've worked so damn hard and I know I don’t even know the half of what you accomplished. I know there is progress I haven’t even seen. And I know you still have a long way to go. So do I. But we'll both get there.

I know life won’t be easy for you. I know you’ll have your ups and downs. I know you’re gaining tools for your toolbox and that you’ll learn when you need to pull them out and use them. But know this – and I’ve told you this before, too. I will always, always be your biggest fan. I will always, always be rooting for you on the sidelines. I will always, always be proud of you, and I will always, ALWAYS love you. You will always be my first, and you will always be my blond, blue-eyed baby boy.

To the moon and back, 


  1. This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read.

  2. The words came straight off the paper to my heart. Have a wonderful time while he's home, Amy.


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