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While I was trying to teach you– YOU taught me.
My Dear Son-
On that snowy day, the 16th of November, eleven years ago, I received one of the best surprises of my life! You were born! On the day you entered into the world, my heart must have skipped a million beats. When the doctor said- “It’s A BABY BOY!”, I was filled with so much joy.. A SON! I just couldn’t believe it. We were a match made in heaven and my dreams came true.
For eleven fast, yet slow years, I’ve tried my best to teach you, my son, through my words and my example. Some days have been way easier than others. But what I didn’t realize until now, is that after all these years- as I’ve been trying so hard to teach you– I’ve never really stopped to reflect on all the things you’ve actually taught me. Oh, Ian- I am so grateful for these ELEVEN things you’ve taught me through your ELEVEN years of life!
1. Through your eyes, I am more than enough.
Motherhood is so hard and there are many days that I ask myself the question–“Am I enough?” And when I’m pondering the answer to that question, you are always there to remind me, that I am. In your eyes, I am just your mother. It’s amazing how that alone suffices- and through your eyes, I am reminded that I am more than enough. When I think of how you feel about me being your mom- I don’t dare to question my worth.
2. The days will pass anyway.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since being a mom, it’s that the days are long but the years are short. But regardless, both will pass anyway. Whether I’m ready for the next day or not, one thing is for certain, and it is that the days will come and go, just as the day before- just as the day after. And those days turn into years quicker than I could ever even imagine. My days and years to spend with you are very limited, and I realize now that I must do all I can to truly embrace them. I get sad thinking that in a few even shorter years, you will leave for college. After eleven years, I’ve finally realized there is no time but now to embrace all those passing days.
3. The score of the game doesn’t really matter.
If there’s one thing I know about you Ian, it’s that you are one of the most competitive 11 year olds out there. Your love for sports is unparalleled! But as I watch you play sports, ironically I’m (halfway) to accepting that the score of the game doesn’t really matter. The friendships you gain, the discipline you receive, the fun you have… those are the things that matter. The score at the end of the game isn’t really the only reason you play the game.
4. It’s easy to forgive and forget.
I’m a Taurus by horoscope. Forgiving and forgetting doesn’t always come easy to me… Well, the forgiving part kinda does. The forgetting- not so much. But as I watch you forgiving and forgetting, whether it’s your friends at school, your sisters, or us-your parents- I am reminded it’s not actually that hard to do. And I’m pretty sure I’m a better person because of it.
5. A little mud never hurt anything.
I remember the first time you were playing outside and you ran inside completely covered and dripping in mud. I admit, I was so ready to flip! My OCD kicked into the highest gear as I quickly changed your clothes, put you in the bath tub and told you to never do that again or else! And through the years, you’ve “done that” again- probably atleast a hundred times. But what I have finally realized is that memories are actually greater than mud. I can throw the muddy clothes and shoes into the washing machine. I now know that someday I won’t have those muddy clothes to wash– or that muddy uniform — or those muddy spikes… and although I may have more time to do something other than scrub the muddy clothes, I’ll probably be here wishing you were with us making more memories.
6. Being happy is better than being perfect.
So, I admit I want you to always do your best. And I know you feel that sometimes your best just isn’t enough… but one thing you’ve taught me is that being happy is actually better than being perfect! And my dear son– I want you to realize that I want the same for you. Perfect doesn’t exist, but happiness does.
7. Jokes are an amazing buffer.
One of your greatest attributes is your sense of humor. You are always laughing through life. And I admit, you’ve taught me that jokes are an amazing buffer, especially when I tell you to do your chores or I reprimand you for your bad behavior. Laughter is really the best medicine.
8. Life is unpredictable.
When I was pregnant with you, and suffering with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, my body and my mind were failing me. I couldn’t understand how something that was “meant to be” could make me so ill… but being pregnant with you was one of the first times I had to deal with life being unpredictable. And now that I look back, I realize how wonderful of a lesson that was to learn, and that it has actually prepared me for more unpredictable moments in my life.
9. The meaning of unconditional love.
When you fight with your sisters or test me to my limits, I am reminded of what unconditional love really means. If you really think about it, it is love without a condition. Some conditions are good. Others, not so much… and that means– just as you love me when I make a mistake or fail at motherhood, I love you too when you make a mistake or experience a failure.
10. I can do really hard things.
When I decided I was taking the first step to get back in shape after kids, it was your attitude that really helped me to keep going. I remember doing some push-ups and you were actually NOT surprised that I could do so many. It was at that moment, I realized that I can do really hard things. Things I thought were so hard to do, you weren’t surprised by, because you already recognize my strength and had faith in me.
11. My life has a greater purpose.
Since you were born, my life has a new direction and I’m not sad about it. I think less of myself. I am willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give up to be at your games, and stand beside you through all of your life’s big and small moments. You have truly taught me that my life has a greater purpose. That main purpose right now is helping you get into heaven. And with all the things I’ve realized you’ve taught ME over the years, I know one thing is for sure…
Having you as my son means I’m closer to heaven than I’ve ever been.
I love you with all my heart and I hope you have a wonderful 11th birthday.