Letter to my adult children (2nd attempt – the softer version!)

Dear Son/Daughter,

I remember the first day I held you.  The image is engraved in my mind.  You were absolutely beautiful.  I was amazed that God would bless me with a child and actually trustME to raise you.  What was He thinking?! How could I be trusted to do a good job? The thought of what the future held and all the responsibility that laid in front of your father and me was overwhelming and yet exhilarating.

Excitedly, I held you.  Again, I was amazed at God.  How could He create you to fit in my gigantic arms so perfectly as a tiny newborn and also as you grew?  I remember thinking, “How can anyone doubt God exists?” when they see the miracle of a child and how they grow.

Well, I embarked on parenting about as seriously as I imagine anyone has.  I thought I had to be perfect.  I embraced my “calling” to mold you into being the best you could be.  I prayed, reasoned, talked to others and researched as to the best way to handle challenging situations.  I vowed to give it my best…. and when I made mistakes (and I made plenty) I first asked God for forgiveness, asked the same of you and begged the Lord to erase my errors from your memory.  Not to preserve my reputation but so that I would not “damage” you.

As you grew, your father and I fell deeper and deeper in love with you.  We saw the potential and plans that God had for you.  We saw that your soul had an enemy.  And that the enemy of your soul would love to stop God’s plans.  We saw the battle ensue.  And we saw you fight … you desired to do what was right.

You grew in stature and knowledge.  You made good choices – we cheered you on.  You made poor choices – we prayed and talked your ears off.  You made crazy choices – what could we do?! We just watched, prayed and waited those out!

Today is very different.  You are grown.  And, as most parents, we look back to evaluate.  There are no redo’s.  Darn.  Because we see our mistakes.  Times I could have been more gentle, loving, grace-filled.  Times that our choices for you were questionable……

Today is different.  We don’t want to parent you.  But it’s difficult.  We want to encourage you and be your cheerleaders.  We love you through and through. Quite honestly, more completely and thoroughly and unconditionally than probably any other human being will.  That’s just part of being a parent.  An ingrained God-given love.  It’s wonderful.  It’s painful.  But much more glorious than troublesome.

Except….  Well….  I’ve seen you’re eyes.  When we make mistakes.  When we lose our cool (we are so darn human, I hate it….still wanting to be perfect for you).  When we give our input.  I’ve seen you look at your sibling.   I’ve seen the blank stare when I ask a question I shouldn’t or start my “teaching” mode.  I shouldn’t.  I know.  I’m sorry. But I’m not.  I love you so much.  I want the very best for you.  I want to cheer you on with all the wisdom I’ve gained from my mistakes.  I desperately want to save you from making the same.  I have seen so much more and experienced so much more than you can imagine – that I can foresee where your potential choices will lead…..

I couldn’t stand and watch you run into the road when you were two… it seems cruel to stand and watch you get hurt now…..

But the polls are in….. the overwhelming majority says I must.  (cringe)

I hope you’ll be patient with me.  I don’t think you would let me walk into the street at my age… and it’s difficult to watch you.

Honestly, though, you do have everything you need.  God has equipped you.  You have the knowledge, wisdom and ability, to make good choices and you have  a keen work ethic to succeed at whatever you set your mind to.   You can stand strong in what you know is the best choice for you personally, and go against the tide/pressure when other’s try to lead you into things that just won’t help you.

Every day is full of choices.  Choices that matter.  Those choices are the building blocks of our character/who we are.  I trust you to make wise choices.

I have faith in you.  I know your hearts.  The Lord will walk with you each step if you let Him.  I thought of a wonderful “quip” to shoot over in a text to you today.  You know the kind… but the Lord reminded me that it’s your time to hear from Him.  Not me.  A glorious day, really.

I believe in you.  You have nothing to prove to someone who loves you through and through.  I miss our times.  But you have a life to live.  I know you will do it well.  Be blessed.  Be strong.

You,  are my favorite people,

and, I… am

your biggest fan,

Mom

Letter to My Adult Children (1st of 2)

Dear Sons/Daughters,

It occurred to me last night that you just don’t get me….  So I think i need to try to explain myself – for the sake of all parents out there – because honestly,……we, parents of adult children, are highly misunderstood!

Ok, here it is in a nutshell.  I love you.

That’s it.  That is IT!   ………….     I love you.

Got it? No, I didn’t think it would be quite that easy to explain.

So let me try….

Ok, when you became an adult (basically, this is the time when you were deemed to have enough knowledge and ability to live life without your parent’s assistance. 🙂 – you know, you can hold down a decent job, pay bills, you know right from wrong, you have a good head on your shoulders… )

Uh hum,   When you became an adult….. your father and I switched gears.  Kind of like switching from first gear to second gear when driving a stick shift car…. BUT – I don’t think you noticed.

We no longer tell you what you “can” and “cannot” do. It’s your life!  But we love you.  So we “advise” you about what we see is best.

Because we love you. That’s it!

Did you notice us getting worked up? Getting emotional?  I did.  It kinda annoyed me just listening to myself.  And I know it more than kinda annoyed you.  But when you were two and ran for the road I got worked up too.  Get it?  We love you.  That’s it!

So, I ask you… if you have someone who loves you more than they love themselves (a rare quality that you may not be so blessed to find in the future-I might add….) then why are you so annoyed?  Why do you not put more stock in our “advice”?

When you look backwards and consider if you had taken our advice….what would today look like for you? Better? …. Or not?

just askin……

Nonetheless.  My sweet adult child…. Your father and I do understand.  We do.  Truly.  I know it’s hard to believe but we were young and on our own once.  We wanted to “make our own way”. We wanted to prove ourselves to our parents.  We wanted to succeed by our own abilities without anyone’s assistance.  We do know what it’s like.  Too well.

But, there is one thing….  You don’t know what this is like….

To love someone so wholly.  So completely.  So deeply – a love that you never knew you could feel – so unselfish…. and um, you know, have them misunderstand you.

My advice…. I give it because I’m cheering for you.

I already see you at the finish line.  Successful and victorious.

I know that’s hard for you to believe because you don’t seem to see that for yourself – but truly, that’s how I see you!  I am trying to cheer for you.  Encourage you.

I already see you at the finish line.  Successful and victorious.

That is my problem.  I think all the peripheral is avoidable.  Maybe it just isn’t.  Like the tortoise and the hare.  You remember… the hare ran arrogantly expecting to win the race, as fast as he could.  Meanwhile the tortoise took his time, made a few pit stops and paced himself.  I’m sure you remember that the tortoise surprisingly won.

So, I guess the problem is me.  I guess, when everyone advises me to stop advising you – they are right.  I suppose you do have enough knowledge, wisdom and discernment to do this on your own.  And if you want to do it your way, why not? (cringe)

Well, what was the purpose of my letter anyway? I’m not sure I remember…. oh, yes I do.  Just an attempt to remind you ….. I am simply cheering you on. Not trying to meddle.  There is nothing in it for me.  This is your life.

I love you dearly.  I am surprised how much.  It kinda stinks sometimes.  But I would not trade it for all the money, maids, personal chefs or pearls in the world!!!!!

You are amazing.  You do not have to prove yourself to us.  You will understand one day when your children are grown too.  When they are trying to prove themselves to you – the one who loves them unconditionally without any good reason.  You will see how silly it is that they try to earn your approval when it is ingrained in you.

Then, you will “get it”. 

But for now, I hope part of you will try to believe that we don’t judge you.  You do not need to earn approval that you already have.  We admire you.  We love you.  We are excited about your future and the wonderful choices you have before you.

You, are our favorite people –

and, I, am….

Your biggest fan,

Mom