Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hey bud,
Here's another thing I've noticed lately; you've turned into super big brother to your sister. (You still have some issues with your brothers though.) I have watched you as you have flown her "supergirl style" around the house complete with the cape made out of old red fabric that you duct tape to her shoulders. She thinks you are the most wonderful thing ever. You have created the "super bounce" with her and on several occasions I've seen you carry her around the yard wherever she points you to go. Most of all I want to say thank you. Thank you for taking such good care of her. She will always look up to you and I know that I can trust you to keep an eye out for her well being.

It is at these moments I tell myself that you will be a good husband and father some day. I am grateful that God sent her to us so that you could learn tenderness and kindness and that you are choosing to learn those lessons. Again, thank you for loving your sister.

I love you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Today's Advice

Don't be afraid to try something difficult. You will always be amazed at what you can actually do and in the end it's always worth it.

Be good. Do good.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Born to Greatness

Dear Son,
Your father and I were talking tonight about the small fortune we have spent on you this year. There has been much done to correct some educational lagging and also to give you great experiences. I was wondering if we should curtail some of our cash outflow with the concern that you might grow to think you have an entitlement to things considered by some to be "extras". After a lengthy and animated discussion I realized a few things; first, you have no idea how much we spend on various activities in which you take part and second, I would spend all I have to give you every opportunity in life.

I am growing up as a parent. (I'll bet you thought I was all grown-up.) I am comprehending now that you are really growing up too. I see you for the first time as the individual you truly are. Until this time, you were a child who needed to be parented. Now I am excited to see that you have interests. Mature interests. I feel excitement that you truly will choose a path of your very own. It is with this new found emotion that I conscientiously commit to encourage you in everything worthwhile that you wish to undertake.
I have been unsure as to how grand I should make my support. I realize now that because your father and I can give you great opportunity, you have an even greater chance to become great. I don't mean being the President of the United States or an studio executive. I mean a good, kind man who influences all he meets. I hope and pray that through your young life I will be able to offer you opportunity that will give you a unique and deep perspective on the world. I pray that you will learn empathy and hope, kindness and faith and also a powerful humility. I am grateful to know that God sent you here to do something in this world and I am equally grateful to know that I can help you discover your path to that end. It is my sincerest wish that you grow to achieve the greatness within you.

All my love,

Monday, June 9, 2008

You Can Do Anything

Dear Son,
A thought crossed my mind as a topic for one of my letters. We were talking about something tonight and you made the comment that the task was "sissy". I thought that was an interesting word to use and really assumed that it was one you heard from friends as I don't use it nor does your father. It led me to further wonder what chain of events led to the use of that word in the setting you first heard it. I gather from this and other passing comments, that you care a great deal about how what you do and say will be perceived by those around you. I am this way too. (So are a great many people in the world.) I think this is probably one of the most widely experienced fears, the fear of not being liked.

Let me tell you a little secret I have recently learned after years of scanning memories and experiences I have had; people will like anything you do if you believe in it yourself. I know this sounds simple, and really it is, but it's hard to master.

Do you remember when you got that haircut you didn't like? Your biggest concern was that the next day your friends would laugh at you. You were afraid they would make fun of how you looked. (For the record, the haircut was fine but it wasn't what you asked for so it was hard for you to come to grips with.) As your mom I was delighted to have a great secret to impart that evening. Seriously, I was excited because I know this works, you just have to believe in it yourself. I told you that even if your friends thought your haircut was the ugliest thing on the planet, if you thought it was great then they would eventually too.

All great people (and I mean anyone who has stuck to their guns on something) know this secret. It's the same secret that will keep you safe when your friends may choose to drink. It's the same secret that will keep you honest when someone wants the answers to the test. It's the same secret that will let you smile when the shirt you may be wearing is the butt of the jokes of everyone around you. It's what will allow you to accomplish great tasks when everyone says you can't. You've got to believe in it, believe in yourself and nothing anyone says will ever stop you.

But beware, don't confuse believing in yourself with self esteem. (Self esteem is a silly notion that someone came up with to make it okay to think only about one's self.) Believing in yourself is the security of knowing that what you are doing is right and good and that you will keep trying to get it right. It's knowing that what you have to bring to the world can help others to be better too. Always believe in yourself! Even if it is hard and many would tell you you're wrong, believe in yourself! You can do great things when you are free from the constraints of self doubt.

I believe in you!

Love, Mom

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Great Endowment

I feel compelled to address a little habit you have. It seems that if things aren't nailed down (especially food), then you assume it's yours. I mention this only because this seems to be a problem with many of your generation (and many of mine). There seems to be a sense of entitlement that permeates our culture and I feel that in our house that belief is creeping in. This concerns me a great deal.

Let me explain. I really believe that in these days Heavenly Father is sending some of his best spirit children to experience life on this earth. I have a friend who likes to say that God is not sending any pushovers. I know that children can be strong willed and I truly believe this is because your spirit is endowed with a great deal of strength. And I know that however I train you to use that endowment will determine a great deal of what kind of life you choose in the future. What I want more than anything is for you to realize that your strength and good fortune in this life does not entitle you to anything. In fact, it beholds you to great responsibility. Heavenly Father did not send you here with great talent and spirituality for you to feel you get extra but instead I believe he wishes for you to give more.

A Tall Drink of Water

Dear son,
I took you to get a hair cut today and the stylist suggested we put blond high-lights into your hair. (Not gonna happen) This was after she asked me if you were over 12 years old. I have noticed lately that you have become a young man. You look like a teenager with your height and your mannerisms. This fills me with pride and dread as I admire the young man you are becoming and wonder at the adult into which you will grow. There is something really exciting about the fact that I can carry on a meaningful conversation with you and discuss topics that go beyond animated characters. You have surprised me on more than one occasion with an opinion on politics and religion. This tells me you pay attention to more than I realize. Note to self: He's listening! Well, at the very least it gives me hope that not everything I say passes in one ear and out the other. Most of all I want you to know that I am proud you are my son. You are truly a diamond in the rough and I love to watch you sparkle.