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.