To My Son On His 6th Birthday
Josiah turns 6 today!
It seems that just yesterday we were struggling to have a child and the joy we experienced when he was born. Last night, I shed a little tear when I realized I was putting my 5 year old boy to bed for the last time.Jessie is still just 3, and obviously, I love her dearly! But, there is something about the first baby growing up.
I decided to veer off of my “Florida niche” for this post and just write an open letter to him, that perhaps someday he will read. I think it is what most mothers wish for their boys, and what I wish every day for him.
To My Son On His 6th Birthday,
I can’t believe how time has flown. As I reflect on your short few years with us, I am in awe of how you have grown and reminisce on the long ago nights where I prayed for your safe arrival.
I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to walk you to your classroom every day… and that you still want me to. You still ask for hugs and kisses several times a day and let me tousle your shaggy hair.
As I have watched you take your first steps, play your first little piano tune, build legos, race your toy cars and learn to read, it isn’t lost on me that soon – sooner than I want-you will start to see that the world is sometimes a scary, sad place. I know that we will not be able to protect your innocence forever. Someday, in the not so far off future, you will understand the words “bigotry,” “racism,” “terrorism,” “bombings.” You are going to learn that sometimes people are mean and hurtful. The world is sometimes a tough place to live in.
When you see those things on the news or, worse, realize them firsthand, please know that you are better than that. That you can grow to be better.
As much as we would love for you to be the star quarterback or the Valedictorian, we need you to understand that you do not have to be those things. Your worth and your value are not your accomplishments. We do not care how many trophies you bring home. What will make us most proud is that you grow to be respectful, helpful and kind. And when you fall short, when you fail, when you struggle…your worth will be in how hard you fight back, how tall you stand, and how long you persevere. Failure is okay, and we will love you no matter what.
We want you to be brave, be generous, be color-blind. Be part of causes that are bigger than yourself. Live richly. Do your best in all things. We desire that you share our faith and develop a personal relationship and walk with the Lord. Be a man who can have meaningful discourse and rich conversation with those whom you disagree…and still be able to share a meal with them after.
I do think about your future wife, and hope that as you go through your teenage and young adult years, you understand how to respect and value a woman for her mind and heart, not for the amount of clothes she wears and how she can benefit you.
We want to raise you to be all of these things, that even we ourselves often times fail at. I hope we can be who you need us to be to teach you all these things and not take for granted the lessons we can learn from you.
No matter what, whether you become a doctor, lawyer, fireman, garbage collector…we will always be proud of you and our home is always yours.
For now, I hope time slows down just for a day. Keep seeing the wonder and magic in the world around you.
Happy Birthday With Love,