A letter to my firstborn
When I was younger than I ever thought I would be, I found out I would soon be expecting a baby. That news both frightened me and filled me with excitement. I could no longer be young and wild. I had to be the grown up. I had to be the mom.
I had a lot of dreams and hopes for you; ideas of how I thought you should be. I tried hard to fill your life with options, adventures and possibilities. I wanted to encourage you to dream big.
Things weren’t always easy. Oftentimes, especially when you were quite small, I felt alone and as if I couldn’t do it. Money was non-existent. That kind of budget left for some real quality time when you were small. I remember how you would pat my face with your pudgy hand and tell me you loved me. Your faith in me, your love, is how I got through a really hard time in my life.
You are now the oldest of my four children. Children I never thought I would or could have. You challenge me to be a better person, almost daily. It’s oftentimes hard to remember that children learn by example and not by what you say. I hope we, your parents, have been the kind of example you have learned something positive from. I also hope that you have learned from our mistakes, so that your own life as a grownup doesn’t have to be so hard.
A few fun facts about things you can do now that you’re a grownup!
Register for the draft
Join the military
Sign legal agreements
Get a tattoo
Get a piercing
Buy spray paint
Rent a post office box
Order something off TV
Enter a sweepstakes
Finance a car
Get a credit card
Work in a strip club (Hey, I was just in Vegas)
Get a business license
Become a flight attendant
Be convicted as an adult
Drive any time of day
Run for political office
Operate machinery at work
See your own doctor
I’m sure there’s a ton more.
The point being this: lots of options become available to you when you become an adult. Remember though, with great power comes great responsibility.
You’re coming to a stage in your life when you can truly make your life your own. As your mom, I can no longer control every facet of your day or your life, nor would I want to. All along, I’ve slowly been letting go, allowing you to learn to make your own decisions. It isn’t an overnight thing. It starts with socks and T-shirts and evolves into colleges, job prospects, where you will live or if you will have a family of your own.
My hope is that you continue to trust us, your parents, to help you make good choices. My hope is that you choose us as your confidants to enable you to make wise decisions. The next few years will be daunting. You will still need us, in a good way. We are here to help you continue to grow as an independent person, but with all the support you need.
I will forever and always be your greatest cheerleader. When you think you can’t, know that I know you can. Even with the plethora of technology, sometimes you will feel alone and just want your mom, I will be there. Even if it’s not immediate with a call or Skype session, just close your eyes and feel my presence. I am there for you.
I am so proud of the young man you are. I am proud to say you are my son.