I really didn't think I would like this song when it came out. And then every time I have heard it since, I think of you.
Every. Single. Time. #burninghouse
If I couldn't get out, I'd just hold you and I guess we would both burn up.
This song came from a nightmare the writer had. And I understand her. I get it. That is where we are now. Just holding on so that both of us get out of this alive and well and emotionally together. It isn't always easy. But while we go through it all, I want you to remember this is a first for both of us. And I give you permission to find out who you are. Just remember to do it with your heart, and use that internal voice that I know you have.
The one thing I wanted to hear while my mother raised me was that she screwed up. Just once. That when she was my age, she made mistakes. That she wasn't perfect. Somehow I needed it. To know that even through my mistakes, I would be okay. (don't take offense, mom...)
I grew to love the head strong individual that I am today. But it wasn't an easy or short road to get here. And I am 37.
The mistakes your father and I have made over the years catch up. As parents, it happens to all of us. There isn't one family that is perfect. NOT ONE. Regardless of how they portray themselves on social media or in person, or at school and church functions. There are holes and secrets and mistakes there, just below the surface.
The one thing I do not ever consider a mistake is having you at such a young age. I had made mistakes, very similar to some of yours. I was head strong, self absorbed, and smart. I, was a teenager. Far from perfect. I came from a home that was abusive and was then thrown in to a "normal" home. It was a breath of fresh air, and I thank God every day for that, even though at the time I didn't understand it. It gave my mother a way out of a bad relationship, it gave her the light she needed to find her way out.
It wasn't perfect, but it was safe and it led me to you. God, what would I do with a baby? I wasn't sure, but we did it anyways. And we made mistakes, and we fought, and we divorced. BUT, there were you and your brother. And you saved me. Both of you. Your ornery temperament, always pushing the limits and you were and are so damn smart. And while I would love to blame all of your frustrating qualities on your father, we both know better.
You, my son, are a fighter. You will make mistakes and you will learn from them. You are me. Reincarnated in to this huge body and this giant intellectual mind that surpasses my mind by leaps and bounds.
And that is what I have had to come to terms with over the last few frustrating months of you discovering your independence and becoming a man.
I haven't shared it with you, but I have cried more in the last month than I ever expected to. Ugly cry...Yes, I know...
But it's because I have to let you go. I have to let you make mistakes. And I have to let you find yourself and figure out who you are. I have to let go of perfection. Because what a burden that must be for you to carry. I can't spank you. I can't put you in a corner. I can't ground you. I have to just let you go. And pray that you can fly on your way out of the nest. That my son, is SO HARD.
I know who you are deep down. But my love is unconditional. Your love will be unconditional for yourself, eventually. You will realize that you are an amazing, intelligent and capable man. You will make it through all of this bullshit and come out on the other side and be grateful for your mistakes, much as I am.
I wouldn't change anything. I don't know that I have ever truly said that to you, specifically. There isn't one thing I would change. Even my mistakes as a mom. Because it has led us to where we are now. And at least I know, that when you are older and a dad, you will realize we are all imperfectly perfect.
For I long time I was embarrassed by my mistakes. God, they ate my soul up from the inside out. But then what happened was this, I held on to that fact that humans are fundamentally good, and yet we are fundamentally broken. Different times, different circumstances, but nothing is perfect. I know I keep saying that..anyways. Don't be embarrassed of screwing up. You won't embarrass me. Or Mike. Or your brothers or sisters. Don't be embarrassed of not knowing what you are going to do next. Take your time and reflect on that. Think about it, pray about it, learn to truly listen to your heart.
There is a beauty in life that you hold in your giant hands. They are bigger than mine, and I can no longer hold yours and guide you like when you were little. I can by voice. And by emotions. I can hold you, but not as I did when you were a child. It's different now.
I look at you and I see you making your way, and I just want you to know that it will be okay. There will be many more mistakes. But you have to look at them and learn, and you have to share them, and you have to use them to discover more and more about yourself. You can't worry about what people think about you because we as humans seem to be really good at judging others without a care to our own issues. I know you will not be one of those humans for long, and I know, because you are half of me.
Your senior year will be awesome, but you have to make it that way. I know you will choose the path that is right for you, you will stray, then come back, and that is okay. When I visited with Tom K., he really made me think about the perfection that has been laid on your shoulders. And, by a chance meeting, he helped me realize that perfection is in the eye of the beholder and something that is pushed too much. Especially in the times that you are growing. It is much different from our childhoods and adolescent years. I don't envy you.
I want you to remember that we all hope to be amazing parents, but we fall every once in a while. And that it's okay for you to see that, because if you can accept my mistakes, then I in turn have to accept yours. It's a trade, and the payoff, is a mutual respect, great communication and a whole lotta love. I am grateful that we can communicate openly. And I promise to try and see things through your eyes.
You are me. You are your father. You are your brothers and sisters You are your grandma's and you are your grandpa's.
Most importantly, you are you. And that is a beautiful thing.
I love you, kid. Very much. Man, being a mom is hard.
Thanks for being my first baby boy.
Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.