An Open Letter to My Son
Dear Son, Soon enough, you're going to realize that your mother is terrible at beginnings. Since I was little, I've always wanted to get to the meat of the story so badly I haven't been able to stick through a good beginning. Impatience is a virtue with our bloodline, and you probably have inherited that, so I'll get to it.
When I sat in my hospital bed two years ago watching you flail free from your swaddle for the billionth time, I got the sense that you were going to teach me a few things beyond what I was already expecting. And, of course, you did.
You taught me that I can want to throttle someone and love them with all of my heart many, many times in the same day. You taught me never to assume that setting you down in one place means you'll still be there if I look away for two seconds. You taught me never to discount that glint in your eye, unless I've been wondering what my camera might look like dashed into a million pieces.
I think more than anything, though, you've taught me how much fun living your life every day should be. You're showing an ever-growing love for art and music. You're passionate about everything you experience. Hell, I wish I could find cats and blueberries half as exciting as you do, no matter how many times a day you see them.
I only hope that I'm able to teach you as much in the meantime. Off the top of my head, I think of the following lessons:
Don't ever let people make you feel bad for being proud of yourself. You have every right to feel pride, just try not to let it cross into arrogance. The rest of it is their problem, not yours.
Someday, someone will break your heart. It'll seem like I'm just sitting back and letting it happen, and that's because I am. But the day that you're able to look into another person's eyes and immediately recognize that difference between mere connection and true intimacy, you'll get why. Sometimes, slogging through the worst pain is the only way to ever get to the good stuff.
Some people out there will try to give you all the yellow and orange Starburst and keep all the reds and pinks for themselves. DO NOT MAKE FRIENDS WITH THESE PEOPLE.
The day I held you in my arms for the first time and felt you fall asleep against me was one of the best days of my life, and no matter how big you get or how far away you move, I'll always see that moment when I look at you. Always.
Until you can understand those things, I'll keep learning from you, and I'll try to do more as you do -- Namely, I'll keep enjoying the sunshine and feeling excited to learn and experience new things every day. And if that comes with a little destruction and a few freakouts along the way, all the better.
Happy birthday, Little Man. Thank you for giving me a beginning I can never tire of.