Thursday, May 29, 2008

A New Development

Hey buddy,
Ah man, it seems as though you have discovered girls. Or, more accurately, I have discovered that you have discovered girls. I knew this day would come but I had no idea that I would be the only one to discover it a week after it happened. It seems the girl in the neighborhood who keeps coming over to her friends house down the street is actually coming to get a glimpse of you. I find this quite amusing because this is the same girl you vehemently hated in third grade. In fact, I went to great lengths to keep you separated in the fourth. I suppose that I have gotten old in that I forgot hatred is the sincerest form of flattery. While I keep calming myself by saying out loud, "this is part of life and he's at that age...", I can't help but be struck with great fear at the thought that you have noticed the other gender. After all, you have had "the talk" and I feel that you are armed with knowledge I wish I could just pretend doesn't exist since you now notice. I realize that you are only eleven and I'm assuming (hoping) that your mind hasn't gone beyond a holding hands. I just want you to know, I've got my eye on you (and them). I will watch from a safe distance as you begin to see young ladies in a new light. I will encourage you to make friendships with good girls in the hopes of teaching you how to behave around them and I will do my best to be nice to girls who call you on their cell phones (this has already been happening for two years, I have not been nice before). Just know this is hard for your mother. Not because I'm a control freak but because there is so much at stake and there is so much to persuade you otherwise. My greatest wish is that you are careful. Please be careful. You are young and so are they (yes, I look at all girls as the opposition). Don't run too fast.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Promise

Dear Son,
I remember the day you were born, it was a beautiful spring day and you came into this world surrounded by family. Your father and I were young college students at the time and we were filled with anticipation and hope at your arrival. Looking back I wonder what made us think that we could raise a child and now I can hardly believe it's been eleven years.
I have to confess that your creation and birth were more about what I wanted than what you may have chosen. We wanted a baby. We wanted a family and most especially we wanted you. Even on the day of your birth my thoughts were about how scared I was and how my body felt. You were a new adventure and a great possibility and yet something completely unknown. Don't get me wrong, we planned for you. I read books, took classes and created a nice place for your new life here on earth but really your life was something I wanted for myself. Even as prepared as I thought I was, I now understand that your summons to the world was beyond my understanding.

And so, you are my teacher, my crash course as it may be. It doesn't seem to matter the classes I take or the books I read, I realize that I am parenting on the fly. You are the ultimate experiment through which I will write the manual to help raise your brothers and sister. I know this is hard for you. I know that sometimes the frustration I raise in your life can be overwhelming but I have something to offer you as well. I have and will continue to give you opportunity. I promise that I will do my best to learn as much as I can and teach you the things I know and then give you avenues to test them out. I ask only one thing, please be patient. Please know that as your mother, I have to stop you sometimes. I have to tell you no.

Thanks to you, I can now enjoy the luxury of looking back. You have given me that. I have a reference point now that you have kindly offered through your limited time here with me. But as you grow you are beginning to move into your own sphere and that causes me to be afraid. Before, I could easily find the answers to your questions, and the monsters that haunted the corners of your little life were not scary to me. Now your monsters are my monsters too. I am equally afraid of those things that hide in the dark places of life and sometimes I know that I am the only one who sees them for what they are. Sometimes I feel as though we are two children brandishing plastic swords at an unseen, although real, hidden enemy. I promise that I will be the brave one. Do not be afraid, I will be the first one into the dark. I will always offer my life for yours because I love you.