These are the things I can’t say to your face. For one, I wouldn’t be able to say them without making you think either something is wrong or that I am crazy (possible). Two, you wouldn’t quite understand. Not yet anyway.
I don’t like when people act like they know everything. Like the day you were born, they said, “Don’t blink! He’ll be graduating before you know it.” Or when you started walking, they said, “It’s over now. He will never slow down.” Or when you wouldn’t let go of your grip on my leg, they said, “Enjoy it. Soon he won’t even want to hug you when people are around.” Or when you gave me a handful of smashed “dande-tigers”, they said, “Wait till he’s giving flowers to his girlfriend.”
I don’t like when people are right.
I don’t like when I can’t stop tears from coming out of my eyes. Like today when we left the mall after we did a little school shopping. You wouldn’t know it because you were asleep before we made it out of the parking lot.
The whole day, I felt like I was trying to buy back time with you. I guess that’s why I paid for a milkshake and a cookie and that overpriced five minute miniature trampoline experience you’ve always wanted to do.
Wasn’t five years long enough to have you to myself? But my time has been so divided between you and the rest of our family and work and church and all the good things a mom should be doing. And I know it’s good that you’ve seen me giving time to those other things—I hope you’ve learned about giving and loving. And I know it wouldn’t have been healthy for you or me if I would’ve spent every minute pouring into your happiness.
Geez. It’s just kindergarten.
It’s a strange feeling to want to hold on to something tightly and at the same time want to let it go so you can watch it develop into something awesome (and handsome and strong and taller than me).
It’s a strange feeling to want to hold on to today yet have a desire to see what’s coming tomorrow. Each stage of your little life has been a series of goodbyes—goodbye to the baby who no longer needed a pacifier, goodbye to the boy who wanted to stop using his little potty, goodbye to the kid who stopped needing me to buckle his seat belt. I’m having a hard time convincing myself that you’re still that kid. You just don’t need me as much. But that’s when people say, “He’ll always need you, just in different ways.”
I’m feeling a little pathetic.
I don’t think I’ve embraced every moment. In fact, I know I haven’t. I’ve spent too many moments in frustration and disappointment (sometimes with myself). Like the time you squirted a whole bottle of mustard on the garage floor. And all the times you play with a toy you don’t even like just because you know your brother wants it. Sometimes you bring out my bad side. I guess it’s good that you’ve seen I’m not perfect.
The truth is, you’re a good kid. Just today, you taught your younger brother the first step in tying his shoes (even though he still can’t get them on the correct feet), and you convinced him to actually bite the carrot instead of just licking off the ranch.
The truth is, you’re a pretty sweet kid. The world needs you. I fear the disappointment you will find when you see how much evil is in the world. You know there are mean people, but you don’t really know. You know there are kids who don’t have shoes or a bed or dinner, but you don’t really know. It’s going to break your heart. That’s why the world needs you, to add a little light in the darkness.
I worry about you. I don’t like giving up control. Then again, I guess I’ve never really had it. After all, you don’t really belong to me. You never have, and you never will. And as much as I love you, God loves you more. He knew you before I did. And when I’m tempted to make this all about me, I need reminding that it’s about Him and His purpose for your life.
It’s fun to watch you turning into a little man. We are so proud of you. You are great at a lot of things, like adding and subtracting. You are the best fisherman I know (besides Daddy). You comprehend more about Jesus than most adults. But just so you don’t get a big head (and because you can’t read this anyway), you’re a terrible joke teller. You’re a very literal thinker like your momma (sorry bud). While you see a circle, your brother sees a potato or a fat lizard belly. It’s gonna be frustrating when some people are better at certain things. But that’s life. Embrace your differences. Never act like you’re better than anyone. And thank heavens now that you have a daddy who can help you on school projects.
I can imagine the challenges you will face, but there are going to be a lot of exciting times too. Will you have friends? Will you play sports? Will you have good grades? Just promise me one thing…please don’t eat weird stuff to impress your friends and to make a couple dollars like Daddy did. There are better ways to make make money and friends.
When you screw up, know how much we love you. But more than that, know how much God loves you.
And when we screw up, remember how much God loves us too.
I will try to stop the tears, but that’s not easy because people say time only goes by faster once you start school. And people are usually right about these kinds of things.
With more love than you’ll ever know,