An Open Letter To My Son







You were born with so many walls around you; it is no wonder the air has never seemed fresh.  Expectations have become your existence.  I fear to look in your eyes because my failure and tired guilt draws at me.  I don’t think I’ve ever let you be my son and not my purpose.  No harm was meant to touch you and no tears we were meant to cry.  I created your image so many years ago and instead of watching you grow, I only saw coloring outside of the lines.  I never saw that color become a picture; I just wanted that excess to go back to what my intentional drawing was for you.

I wanted all the wisdom in the world for you.  I wanted you to be surrounded by all the strength and beauty the world had to offer.  I wanted your roots to be firm in the ground and I never wanted you to have to trip on them.  I wanted you to know love.  But I see now that I wanted you to experience it all from my eyes.  Such focused purpose I created with a young naïve mind and heart.  I’ve never quite known when an accomplishment was achieved, we just had to keep going.

From time of being, you started with a checklist around your heart.  I just knew I had to keep you moving forward, from birth to adulthood, we had to keep you going.  After all, I had so many dreams for you.  And so focused through all these years, I was afraid to listen to yours.  I had to keep us moving forward because otherwise I might have had to look in the mirror and see you looking back at me.  I didn’t want you to see the reflections I carried.  But it reflected anyway on all those shiny things you always sought after.

With all the greatest intentions but most selfish actions, you were my marker and I’ve always needed to protect you – a much softer word than the control that stood behind that.  I just wanted the best for us.  I didn’t want us to fall into the typical spotlight with a Help Wanted sign blinding our potentials.  I was so very young with experience that was patched up with Paper Mache where more years were needed.  Life seemed so cold but you gave me determination and that became the theme.  You gave to me…you gave to me… You changed who I am, and you taught me…and who you are is what has become the foundation to where we are today.  You’ve always carried that responsibility and so I couldn’t let the colors drip from the lines.  I was going to give you nothing less than the best.

I struggled with the words, so many times because I had to make it up as we went along.  I spoke a lot about what I thought and I never gave quite the emotional foundation to you, of course  unless we fell into some crisis mode.  That’s when I knew the words so profound but I spoke from what my eyes and mind told me and my ears were always hiding.  It seems crisis is what held my heart together and the ironic thing; I wanted you to feel none of it.  Oh, I feel so much love for you but to experience that feeling or share it so openly – please understand it is so foreign to me, I retreat.  What coldness I must radiate to you.  Mixed messaging in reeling chapters I gave to you.  I can cry with pride and heal from the tears.  I can curse with anger and learn from the heat.  I can be sad with loneliness and enter into silent prayer.  I know the sweet touch of a dream and the push of hope.  But I only experiment with the expressions of love.  It overwhelms my spirit so much I get lost in the message.

I might not have the exact words but I ask you experience it in your surroundings until we can work on a language together.  It may be geography or it may be a physical view or a material touch…but it is our love that created where we are.  I will have to take it back to my perspective, but please know…I wanted my family to share in the mountains that I love so much.  I wanted to not have to worry about food in the fridge or snacks in our stomachs.  I wanted a home built on great foundation, surrounded by colors that can soar a spirit.  I wanted the rush of the river and activity of life around us.  I wanted to ensure we had security for the future to live out any dream we may choose.  It was so much love that I had for you that influenced all the choices I made from the time of your birth.  Together, we’ve only moved forward and we are surrounded by so much love.

Am I proud of you? Absolutely and without a doubt! You have a spirit that is so patient, so caring, so insightful, so brave, so sharing and so willing to teach that I really couldn’t be prouder.  With all that stood in your way from your first movement, you truly can move mountains.  Such a young age, you fought the wolf with your own hands – scars you will always bear but wisdom that can’t go ignored.  You’ve experienced great hurt and emotion as you have had to define family and struggle to be a bridge when you only asked to be carried over.  You’ve had to live to be my foundation and wear my jaded eyes.  My fears of failure have kept you silenced for too many years now.

You have done everything right.  It has been your gift of love that has created each of our futures, all the way through to your brother and sister.  It is your strong wisdom that is now teaching me what generations before you never could have done.  It is your eyes that are opening mine.  I cannot change back the years of time but will choose to look at today as the day I color my own picture and appreciate the colors you have created within yours.  Let this be the last checkmark you have to wear.

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