Letters to my children: September 2016

Each month I have the privilege of joining some incredible mothers as we document how quickly our kids grow. This is our September blog circle. Click here to read Holli’s pre-baby post to her boys.

These letters are pretty challenging for me to write. It feels like each month, we are in a bad “place” and I don’t feel like writing my words down for people to see. (One or the other…they take turns being turd fergusons.) But I’m finding that this is a good place for me to talk to them. I also want to be honest about how we hurt and struggle and win and rejoice. So, my words are here. Not pretty or grammatically correct, but here nonetheless for you to see.

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Michael, Hey there handsome. I still can’t quite believe you are in 7th grade. Two weeks in and I think its gonna be a good year. This is our first year to play football. We weren’t real sure how it was going to work out. Some of those kids are pretty big and I was not ready for our first concussion or broken bone. To my surprise, you have really taken to it. You have been carrying a football everywhere…and have even taught sister some plays. I’m very proud of your dedication.

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Our schedule has been crazy. I’m including this because in a few years I’ll be bored and wonder why these days flashed by us. We leave for school at 7:15. I pick you up at 4:30 after football practice. On Monday and Tuesday, we leave at 5:15 for baseball and get home around 8:45. The floors aren’t clean. The laundry is always behind. But you are having so much fun. Thank you for working hard on your school work and remembering that it comes first. I’ll keep sneaking snickers in your lunch box if you promise to keep the good attitude going.

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The best part about our crazy schedule is the time you and I get to spend in the car together. We read. We dance. We talk. It is by far the best part of my day with you. So thanks for being a pretty cool kid. For stepping in at church and becoming part of a new group of people. For keeping me on my toes and having a fantastic sense of humor. And for loving me even when I know my crazy train is coming full force at you.

Love, mom

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Dearest Katelynn,

We have been struggling. I’ve been calling your episodes “panic attacks” because I am really at a loss for words and feel completely helpless as I watch you unravel. The beginning of school didn’t feel stressful but it sure did manifest itself in very ugly ways. I think your body is trying to figure out how to grow up, even though no one is ready for it. (Hormones make us crazy).

I also think your body has forgotten how to process sugar. We have tied 3 of your last episodes to poor food choices. (This is such a hard topic for me. I have always had such a poor body image and I do not want you to ever have the same thoughts about yourself that I have battled since I was your age.) But, sugar is not treating you very well. The 3 “rages” ¬†were after you had a dessert. I’ve done some research and found out that sugar spikes can lead to aggression and irritation. When the endorphins are rushing, it can also be the reason you eyes dilate and you feel out of control.

I’m so proud of how you are responding to this unexpected change. You have been listening and making great choices. You have talked it out with me and are learning what is best for your body. Good job!

I do have to confess that this process has been pretty crappy for me. It is very hard for me to be nice to you when you are disrespectful and mean to me. (I’m only documenting this so that we can remember these days when you have a 10 year old daughter… )

Katelynn, your struggles last year have really changed you. It is incredible to see what a strong person you continue to be even when it feels like you are falling behind in the “win” column. I know you are going to take on the world head first and that these years will be such good prep work for whatever path you find yourself on soon.

Thank you for teaching me patience. Thank you for being brutally honest in your hurts and feelings. Thank you for forgiving me and for knowing I love you so.

To the moon and back, mom.

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