Wednesday, November 10, 2010
To My Son On His 16th Birthday...
I remember the day he was born. I remember holding him on my chest and whispering in his ear that I would spend my entire life loving him and doing everything I could to protect him. Sometimes this has been easy; sometimes not so much.
The heartbreak resulting from being a parent as opposed to his friend has occasionally shown how much grace God can possibly provide...if He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it. I never wanted to be a push-over parent. The times when I could actually feel the hate directed at me for holding him accountable would find me on my knees begging for the strength to keep protecting him. In the end, my son has never questioned my undying love for him. He is a confident young man secure in this knowledge and he knows no matter what happens he can come to me for anything, sans judgment.
In the event I may have forgotten anything during these past 16 years of instilling my insight upon him, I herein relay some truths I have learned over my 41 years here on earth that I hope he can take, think about, file away, and if the need ever arises, draw on them for wisdom.
~ Your word is a bond; once given do not break it.
~ Earning someone's trust back is twice as hard as getting it the first time.
~ Your generation seems to think very casually of sex. When you choose someone to share yourself with, do not enter this decision lightly. The greatest illustration I can share with you comes from the Wizarding Queen herself, J.K. Rowling. Just like Voldemort split his soul in seven different ways and stored it in seven different horcruxes, so too when you choose to give yourself to another person. Make sure they are worthy to carry a piece of your soul, as once given you can not take it back. Thanks for enduring your Harry Potter geek Mom.
~ You only get one chance to make a first impression. Look them in the eye and offer a firm handshake. I personally can't stand a limp handshake; it evokes zero sense of self-worth.
~ Always let your faith be your guide. You have done a great job of this so far, and we have never gone wrong letting God guide us.
~ One day your heart may be broken. Never speak ill of a young woman (or anyone if you can help it.) Always treat young ladies the way you would want someone to treat your sisters, as they are someone's sister or daughter, too.
~ You have your entire life to work; enjoy this time you are living now, in the moment. Do not place value on the material things; God will provide all you need. Live every experience to its fullest extent.
~ Never lose the wonder of life. The minute you believe you know everything God will remind you how far you have to go.
~ Live sensually and enjoy everything every opportunity has to offer: listen to the birds sing, watch a rainbow paint the sky, taste the wonder of great food, smell the flowers. Moments fly by and you don't want to miss a thing.
Lastly, thank you, for the beautiful baby boy you were and the young man you now are. You were my first and you changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. I thank God for you everyday, you make me proud everyday, and the world is a better place with you in it. I never thought I could have the capacity to love anyone or anything to the extent you have shown me. I love you and I thank my God for you.