Monday, May 15, 2006

A letter to my son

Dear Bo,

Grandpa used to write me letters when I was mad at him, or we were having a hard time getting along. It made talking easier, because we didn’t have to do it face to face. I thought maybe I’d try it too. It seemed to work when I was your age.

I know you life seems like it sucks right now. I’m going to tell you that at 12, everyone thinks their life sucks. It’s hard. It’s a really tough age. You’re no longer a child, but not quite a man. I know that you are trying so hard to grow up and be a man, and it seems like I am fighting so hard to keep that from happening. I understand you are fighting for your independence and I am fighting to hold on to the little boy who stole my heart 12 years ago. I know I can’t win this fight, and that I will eventually have to let you go. I’m just not ready to do that yet.

Maybe you think I come down on you pretty hard, and maybe you’re right, I do. Let me explain why. I only want you to be the best person you can be. I know that you are a smart guy. You just don’t believe in yourself, and part of that is my fault. I’m only human, and I have made mistakes. I haven’t been the best parent, but I’m trying. I want you to always do your best, be your best, look your best. I was such a nerd, such a geek in school. I wasn’t popular, I didn’t have many friends, and I see that you could get so much more out of school by being liked, and popular and having a lot of friends. So, I’m trying to help you be the ‘cool dude’ instead of the nerd I was. I just want you to have a better life than I had, I want you to have better experiences than I had.

You and I are a lot alike, because we both get really angry, really easily. I say things when I’m angry and hurt that I don’t really mean. And I never, ever tell you I love you nearly enough. I really do love you, and I am so proud of you. You are growing into an incredible young man, and I know that my time with you is short. I know that girls and sports, and cars, and dates, and jobs are just around the corner and will take you away from me. I am just trying to enjoy every last day I have with you, before you grow up too much.

I want you to know that you can talk to me about anything, I won’t laugh, I won’t judge. I was 12 once, I remember how hard it was. Things are changing, things in your life, your body, your feelings, everything is changing and it’s scary and exciting all at the same time. If you don’t want to talk to me, Aunt S said that Uncle B would be willing to talk to you about anything you need or want to talk about too. He was 12 once too, you know.

You don’t have to face this alone. You are not alone. You have a huge family that loves you. While you may not understand or agree with the choices and decisions I make, I need you to know that I make those choices and decisions based on what I think is best for you. You may not understand that now, but I hope you can trust me.

I love you Bo, and I’m incredibly proud of you.

No comments: