To My Son,
When you were born, my life was forever changed. I never knew that I could feel love so deeply and I immediately realized that “love at first sight” was real. As a baby and toddler you were filled with early firsts; early to talk, early to walk, and early to read. I don’t even remember you learning to stand…you just walked and then ran. I wanted to show you to the world and couldn’t wait to see all of the things you would do. But I became blinded by the idea of who I wanted you to be.
As you grew older, mom and dad began to drift apart and divorce became a reality for our family. The pain you suffered from that experience began to shape you. Though, I refused to see it; refused to believe it. Before long, you were a lost young man, struggling to get through each day. As you began the journey of your teen years, life threw you some pretty tough curve balls; peer pressure, bullying, and abandonment by your father. I tried, so desperately, to save you from all of the pain and force you back on to the right track. But I was not in control and you were falling deeper down the rabbit hole as you trudged through high school.
For four years I watched you, night after night, struggle to focus on homework. I watched you fall, over and over. I cried with you, I prayed for you, and I laughed with you. More than anything, I learned from you. I learned how to love unconditionally. I learned how to try harder. I learned to never give up. I learned to be vulnerable. I learned to enjoy life and let the little things go. Most importantly, I learned how to let you be the man you want to be, not the man I wanted you to be.
Together, we learned how to stand.
The truth is, you are not who I wanted you to be. You are better than any version of you that I could ever have imagined you to be. You are strong, you are courageous, you are brave, you are fearless, and you are wise beyond your years. Regardless of the punches life throws at you, I know you will push through; you will survive. I am proud to call you my son. I thank God that he trusted me to care for you and help guide you through this messy life.
Today you graduated high school. Tomorrow begins an exciting new journey. Live your life, find love, learn to trust, and hold on to joy. You are worthy of it all…go show the world what you can do.
With Much Love,