Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Letter From Me To Me

"What the...?," my son, Peyton, uttered in disgust at a video game the other day.  "Oh my God!"

He was playing Wii with a friend while his little brothers watched (like hawks).  I asked him to come into the kitchen for a quick chat, where I proceeded to tell him we do not talk like that in this house.  

"Mom, I didn't say anything wrong, I'm almost a pre-teen," he protested.  And he's right, he didn't say anything too horrible.  I explained that he has little brothers and they are watching him and listening to him all the time.
Peyton not only has a lot of influence as little brother JT's first base coach, but everywhere.
"For goodness sake, Wade is only 2.  I don't want him to go to preschool next year singing "Sexy and I Know It" and say "what the...?" when the snack isn't what he wants," I explained to Peyton.

He rolled his eyes and went back to his video games.

You might be surprised at my conservatism about language since I have been known to have quite a love of swearing.  But I don't swear in front of my children and plus I'm a fucking grown up. 

But there's more going on then saying the Lord's name in vain or implying h-e-double hockey sticks.  I feel my oldest pulling away.  Part of it is fun to watch as he is getting a little less shy and branching out a bit.  Part of it sucks.  He is starting to eye roll more and is getting very frustrated with people, okay mostly me.

Yesterday after getting 235 eye rolls and "mom you are so annoying" looks from my son, I escaped to the front porch.  I went through the mail and found a letter to me, from me.  What the...?

I opened it up and remembered it was from 4th and 5th Grade Church Camp that I chaperoned last winter.  If you are a believer, this is one of those God moments.  Those moments when the God/the universe/a higher power is looking out for me or just really awesome timing from talented, amazing youth coordinators at my church.  
Here's an excerpt from the letter to me from me:

So, I am on a church retreat with Peyton.  I never pictured myself chaperoning something like this, but is has been so much fun.

Fun because I've gotten to connect with Peyton and his friends and some of my friends from church.

Mostly it's been so great watching Peyton be so happy, so involved, so silly, so thoughtful.

Best feeling ever to see and know your kids are happy.

I hope by the time I read this letter, I will have had a million more happy moments with Peyton and the other kids.

Yeah, I cried.  Then I hugged Peyton.  He rolled his eyes and looked confused.

Then the kids and I went on a bike ride--I was determined to have some damn happy moments. 
As the three older kids biked far ahead of me it hit me.  This is the beginning of new chapters for all of them.  In less than two weeks, they will all be in school all day.  

Part of me thought how fun it's going to be to see them all grow up and find their own path.  Part of me thought how there will be so much that will suck.  I am going to start writing myself letters and asking people to mail them back to me, just to remind me of all the million good moments.  Letters to remind me of the path that I am on as a parent--to be strict when I need to be, relaxed when I can be; intentional, compassionate, patient, accepting, forgiving and steadfast. (No matter how many fucking eye rolls I get.)


  1. awesome reminder of the bigger picture we when are so caught up in the day to day craziness!

    1. It does get crazy doesn't it? But those reminders save me. Thanks for reading and commenting!