E Wordless Wednesday

To my baby boy (because you will always be my baby boy),

As you get older, I feel more and more intensely how little control I have over your life, and how quickly I am losing what little control I have left. Son, I hope you realize it’s not about control but your safety. I worry about you, and I love you, and I would give anything to keep you safe, always.

As you learn more about your surroundings, I realize more and more how ugly and scary this world can be. Son, I hope you never lose sight of the beauty this world has to offer as well.

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As you grow into your own person, I understand more and more that while so much of you will depend on what your father and I teach you, there is still a big part of you that is just you. Son, I hope you never let go, sacrifice or compromise the real you. 

As you develop skills, opinions, likes, and dislikes, I see more and more the heavy burden society has placed on gender roles and what it means to be a man. Son, I hope you never let society dictate what you think you can and cannot be, or can and cannot do.

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As you grow up, I understand how quickly time can pass despite every attempt to savor each and every moment. Son, I hope you never take life – and all it has to offer – for granted.

My sweet baby boy… you are not a baby anymore. You are a toddler, and you grow and learn so much each day. Every day is something new for you, and it is so exciting to watch you develop. But, time is slipping by so fast these days, and I know my time with you is limited. Before I know it, you’ll be grown and entering The World on your own. And I won’t be there with you, to guide you, to tell you what will hurt you, what is safe.

It’s terrifying. And thrilling. (But mostly terrifying.)

I can only hope that we are teaching and showing you how to live the right way. Good. To be kind. That is my number one hope for you. We are doing the best we know how, and son, I hope it is enough.

E

I get to raise a man. I have to raise a man.

Raising E is both a privilege and a responsibility… something I am proud to do, but also something I know I must do the right way. I don’t mean “right” as in “correct,” but “right” as in “good.”

I have to raise a good man. I have to raise a kind man. I have to raise an intelligent, understanding, gentle, smart, funny man.

I have to. But I also get to.

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I get to teach him to be strong, but gentle. To be empathetic and understanding. To be kind. To treat women with respect. To treat men with respect.

I get to teach him that love is love, regardless of color or gender.

I get to teach him that we all make mistakes, and that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you own up to them instead of trying to cover them up.

I get to teach him that words can and do hurt – sometimes more than pain any weapon can cause – and that words should be used carefully.

I get to show him how to dream big and reach for the stars. That nothing is impossible, but that to get what he wants out of life he’s going to have to work really hard to get it. But that it will be worth it.

I get to teach him that nothing in life is permanent. I get to show him how to appreciate the little things as well as the big things.

I get to raise a man.

Awhile ago, I read a beautiful piece that Tia wrote about her daughter. This was inspired by that.

E

Outside is the coolest.
Outside is the coolest.
Climbing stairs is the cool
Climbing stairs is the cool
Finding rocks is the coolest.
Finding rocks is the coolest.
Eating rocks is the coolest.
Eating rocks is the coolest.
Teasing the dogs with sticks is the coolest.
Teasing the dogs with sticks is the coolest.
Driving is the coolest.
Driving is the coolest.
... but driving a real car is cooler.
… but driving a real car is cooler.
Messing up Dad's collection of nuts/bolts/whatever is the coolest.
Messing up Dad’s collection of nuts/bolts/whatever is the coolest.

My son is the coolest.

E