Saturday, January 26, 2013

An open letter to my first born son

Here is my birthday tribute to my 10 year old:

Handsome Son,

Ten years my son...ten awesome years!  Now that you have hit a decade on this earth I want to share some bits of insight and dare I say, advice from mom to son.  You are a respectful and obedient son... sometime out of depth of character and sometimes out of the desire of not provoking crazy mom...and no matter the reason I am grateful for your spirit.  Because of who you are becoming, I trust that you can humor me as I babble on for a bit.

My son, you came into this world a bit freaked out.  The bright lights, cold touches, and loud noises of our world totally overwhelmed you and we knew it almost immediately.  Your first years were full of joy and wonder and they were also full of concern and lots of need.  My momma heart ached when your body and soul ached.  All of the tears of pain, panic, and frustration got worked through while you were cradled in arms or in sling.  In retrospect I am so grateful you are my first child for so many reasons.  You needed me on a constant basis and no substitute would suffice.  I am confidant that we have the bond we do today because of the time we got to spend together in the those first two years.  We were together morning, noon, and night.  You went to work with me, you slept with me, and we were never apart for very long.  We worked this way until you were ready, throwing conventional wisdom and lots of unhelpful advice out the window.  It was hard but worth it, because I understand you and that helps me advocate for you as you navigate your life.

This has been your year and I am jumping for joy on your behalf.  This past year has been the year for things to come together for you and it has been awesome to watch you become successful and confident in all areas of your life and development.  So much of your life I have watched you trying to navigate childhood feeling like things weren’t quite fitting for you.  You struggled in your body, you struggled to relate to other kids, and you struggled with functioning easily in a classroom situation.  I have had your back in your struggle for all of these years, finding the help we needed to make life easier for you, establishing routines that would help you thrive, and being available for you with a listening ear and lots of hugs to soften the experience of not quite fitting into the world.

Now you have found a bosom friend at school.  A boy as smart and kind natured as you are and you are safe to be fully who you are in friendship with another boy at school.  That has shifted so much for you with your school experience.  He is in gate and chess club with you and you are in the same class this year.  Your anxiety level has dropped and you seem as if all is well, looking forward to school and not dreading your days.  You have worked out your difficulty in the classroom and have matured so much.  4th grade is a tough year for all kids academically, and you are definitely excelling in academics.  The expectations are now shifting to areas you are naturally gifted in and you get to experience fitting in right where you are.  A job well done my son...your hard work of controlling your behavior and your impulses is paying off!  

You have been training in the art of karate for five years now and for all of that time you have had an amazing sensei that totally understood your spatial issues and your coordination difficulties, while also understanding the way your brain works and the heart and soul you give to your craft.  He has been a great mentor to you all of these years teaching you the basics and trusting that at some point everything would click between you body, heart, and soul.  He has had you compete in tournaments twice a year for all of these years and every time we watched you compete, it was pretty obvious that you knew your steps, but you were not quite at the same place as the other students.  You have never given up though, and your perseverance is finally paying off.  You are now a green belt and the competition is so much more difficult because only the serious students are moving forward.  When you competed as a green belt this past month, your skills have clicked and you did not stick out at all.  You have earned your spot amongst the serious students.  You are mastering your craft and I could see it all over your essence as you demonstrated your form this time.  Your presence on that mat was remarkable!  You had more obstacles to hurdle in order to perform at this level and hurdle those obstacles you have.  Way to go!

So as you move into this new year I want to share a few pieces of wisdom with you:

1.  You live a good portion of your life in your intellectual world of dreaming up cool things.  I love the way your brain works because you are so much further along than most will help solve the dilemmas of this world when you grow up, for that I am sure and I rest easier knowing that you can help advance our human experience.  I want to offer this insight up to you as you travel down your intellectual destiny:  Remember that people always matter more than ideas.  As you soar the clouds of your creative world, remember to stay anchored in our world and in relationship with those you care for most.  Never lose touch with the importance of connection... it was what got you to this place of being able to soar.  Without your years of receiving  constant human contact, you would not have the confidence and strength of character you now have.  Continue to strengthen the right side of your brain with art, and story, and connection to emotion at the very same time you strengthen your left mode development.  An integrated mind is necessary to solve the dilemmas of this world.

2. The world does not revolve around you... you are so important, just no more important than anyone else.  If you love someone, what is important to them needs to have importance to you too.  Look out for you younger sister and especially for your little brother, they love you and I know you love them too.  Always think about those who have less than not feel bad for the gifts you have been given, just share them with those in need.  Grow your compassion and your empathy, you will have more joy and more peace in your life if you do.

I love you my son.  Thank you for being the trailblazer in our family.  Thank you for teaching me the power of connection.  You are a funny, smart, capable boy!

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