Letters to my Son

(Words get in the way)

I am your Mom.

Today, you hate me.

I’m not saying I don’t understand.  Words were said, by both of us, situations, intent … misunderstood.  We were both tired.  You physically and mentally … and hangry (you really need to eat before wrestling meets!) … and me?  Emotionally.

I am tired of fighting with you.  I am tired of every thing being an argument.  From dressing warmer, brushing your teeth, eating proper meals to homework and chores … it seems right now, everything is an argument and I. Am. Spent.

You are my favorite person in the world.  Even now, even with the arguing and frustration.  I don’t think I do a very good job of showing that sometimes.  You see, parenting gets in the way of doing the things I would rather do.  I would rather hang out, laugh, play games, eat crap food, just BE.  But I can’t.  I have this job.  I am a parent to you first.  Not a friend.  Not a Partner-in-Crime.  I am Mom.  I am meant to teach you, to guide you, to correct you, sometimes to punish you, but above all, to LOVE you.  Because all those things (teach, guide,correct, punish) are all because I love you.

So I decided I would start writing you every day, here.  Writing the things I think and I feel.  The things that might get lost in the midst of an argument, in the heat of the moment.  Because, at some point in a little while I have to go out and drive in a heap load of snow on cruddy roads and what if, what IF …something were to happen?  Something stupid like an accident.  SOMETHING that gets in the way of us finding our way back to the love part after the argument.

Right now you are too angry with me to hear what I am really saying.  Right now you think you hate me and you aren’t ready to forgive me for letting you down.  Right now we have between us some pretty awful words and if something were to happen that interfered with us getting to the forgiveness part that I KNOW is coming next (because I LOVE you and I know you love me, even if you don’t know it right now) … I need you to know that I know.

I love you.  I believe in you.  I do NOT think you are a bully.  I DO think you should avoid situations like the one you got into just because … guilt by association.  I do know that you will stand up for the underdog.  I am proud of your sense of righteousness.  I am afraid for your sense of justice, but I understand that it is connected to your sense of righteousness.  I don’t want to be the mother of Batman, but I understand why you relate to that character.  I trust you in the world.  I do NOT trust the world around you.  My fear is not due to lack of trust in you, it is due to my inability to control the intangibles.  I can’t protect you if you are not with me.  I can not help you if you shut me out.  I am your MOTHER.  I have been protecting and helping you since the day you were born.  It is not easy to let that go, even if you are a tough, smart, capable, 14 year old man-child of integrity.

School is important.  Grades are not as important.  Learning to hand work in on time, to give your best, even when it is less than perfect, in everything you do, that is what makes school important.  Learning to respect those placed over you (teachers=bosses; coaches=bosses, parents=bosses) is what makes school important.  Grasping the idea of doing MORE than is expected will come later.  Just understand that it WILL come and someday you will think “ah ha!  That is what my parents were trying to teach me.”  Advocating for yourself in school or on a team is a skill that translates into asking for a raise or promotion later in life.  Turning in completed assignments on time translates to successfully completing tasks and meeting deadlines at work.

Doing chores at home now teaches you the importance of keeping your house in order later.  From cleaning, cooking, washing, paying bills, house upkeep (so it doesn’t fall down around you!) … all these are just chores.  For adults.  Cleaning your toilet, washing your hands, brushing your teeth … these are all hygiene and keep you healthy.  Being reminded to do them now means that later you will remember on your own.  Healthy eating habits, healthy hygiene, general cleanliness … all of these things that I nag you about now are things that I hope will become habit for you later.  When I won’t be around to help keep you safe and healthy.

I LOVE you.  More than you will ever understand.  At least not until you have kids of your own.  You are my heart, walking around, unprotected, outside my body.  I would give anything to make you happy.  But I can’t give you whatever you want if it interferes with my job of being your parent.  It breaks my heart to NOT give you everything you ask for, to NOT pave your path forward in gold.  All I can hope to do is to equip you with the skills to maneuver the winding, treacherous path alone.

I love you.  You are my heart.  I am your Mom.


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