Dear son

So, today is the 5th day of the Write Tribe’s Festival of Words and the 3rd time I’m writing. Even if you’re horrible at math you know that doesn’t add up. In the spirit of full transparency, aside from dealing with daily tasks and a cranky baby (are there teeth coming in at 11 months? Is he just upset to be another year older like the rest of us? I can’t tell where the grouchiness comes from anymore…), I’ve been dealing with a bit of mental fog that just won’t let me get motivated for anything, even things that I enjoy doing. So it seems like forcing myself to sit down and write instead of watching another episode of “The Good Wife” on Netflix (seriously, have you seen that show? I know I’m 10 years behind but the chemistry between Will and Alicia is off the charts!) is the only way to go.

Today’s topic is simple: write a letter.

And, as a new mom staring my son’s first birthday in the face, the choice of whom to write the letter to was simple, too. Although, a letter to hubby did cross my mind, I imagine the contents to this letter will be more… publishable. So, without further ado…

Dear son,

I know every mom makes a point to say this, but bringing you into this world was not an easy task. Aside from the usual pain that comes with pushing a tiny-but-still-not-that-tiny human out of my body, the aftermath of your birth hit me hard, and the first few weeks home with you I wasn’t sure I would survive. But, somehow, we did. You and me, we helped each other make it through.

You’ve always had a strong personality, something they don’t tell you about babies – that you can see a glimpse of your future teenager from day one. You don’t take shit from anyone; if you like something, you love it, and if you dislike something, everyone knows it. I wouldn’t say that you’ve been a serious baby, but your laughter doesn’t come easily, which makes it all the more precious to hear. I hope that this one day will translate itself into someone who thinks before he speaks, and weighs his options carefully (but not too carefully); someone who understands that while logic should rule our decisions, our heart should guide our logic, and someone who knows that best thing to do is not always the easy thing, or the most accepted thing, but the right thing.

There are a million things left to say and – lucky you! – I’m sure you’ll hear it all over the years from your dad and me. But the most important thing to remember is this: most things in life are shades of grey, but a mother’s love and support is not. The love I have for you, son, will never fade, diminish, or age. I will support you in all things, even if my support doesn’t always look like acceptance. I will listen to you, even to the things I may not want to hear, and I will always keep in mind that you are your own person, and that’s who I will raise you to be. If there ever comes a day where you don’t feel the comfort of my love and encouragement surrounding you, then I have failed, and if I fail at being a good mom, no other accomplishment could ever make up for it.

My prayer for you is and will always be that you are kind, gentle but strong, intelligent, and surrounded by love, light, and happiness (and that you will sleep through the night by next month). You were a part of me once – and as long as I remember the heartburn and backaches, so will you! – and so it won’t be easy letting you go into the world, but I will do it because I know at the end of the day I don’t own you, I’ve only been charged with raising you, and although we’re only a year in, what an amazing privilege it has been.

I know we will have bumps along the way, as all parent-child relationships are fraught with disagreements and miscommunication, but I hope we come out of it stronger, as friends; you may be stuck with me as your mom, but I would like to think that one day – even if it’s 30 years down the road – you would actually choose to hang out with me.

I love you, son, and I can’t imagine my life without you.