Updated on January 1, 2017
Letters to my children: Beginning 2017
Each month I join other moms in a blog circle and we write letters to our children. Some letters are sweet and memorable. Other (mine) are words written to document the trenches of motherhood. After you read my letter/rant, click Here to read Angela’s letter to her kiddos.
Dear Michael and Katelynn,
I wanted to start our 2017 letter talking about how generous and kind you have been through the Christmas break but I don’t feel like lying is the best way to start a new year. It doesn’t help anyone and it for sure won’t help you when you read this for wisdom during your tween trenches.
Today I feel like kicking you in your shins and running to my room to read.
Don’t get me wrong. I love this age in those moments of laughter and conversation. I like that you can bathroom and feed yourself. I like that I can be sarcastic and you get it. Or that I can tell you to stop being a punk (or a$$hole) without worrying about your delicate ears or teaching new curse words. I love that you can wake yourself in the morning and dress yourself without help. The outfit choices you make may give me pause but I truck right through that hiccup and let you determine how your will represent yourself to the world.
This past month I have encountered some difficult (cry-baby) adults whose behavior mirrored some of the behavior you have exhibited. Handling the “adults” really gave me the confidence and strength I needed to pounce and conquer the battle we were having. Instead of being a little lax when I felt like I may be overreacting, I stuck to my guns because I didn’t want you to be the kind of person that has no respect for authority or even good manners. Instead of just letting you be emotional (dare I say crazy) and work it out, we talked about it and how you may be overreacting. I don’t want you to be a 50-something that tantrums when you don’t get your way. No one does.
All this work will be considered a success when you are adults with good manner and respect for other people (whether they are in authority or not). If you find yourself caring about the well being of others and doing all you can to be kind, I will look back on these trenches with a smile knowing that it was worth the slammed doors and stomping feet.
But I still want to hide in my room and read. No one talks back to me in my books. There is no parenting happening for my 19 year old heroine in the castle. The handsome prince won’t ask her to vacuum the floors or buy more dog food…
Michael, these days fly by so fast with you. You play basketball at school (and all the freaking time at home…so tired of playing horse-or saying no to playing). You are doing well in school, have put in some good hours of service for the community, and fought me every day about our trip to New York. You’ve also mastered the rubix cube and pyramid. (Last check was 20 seconds to solve. Incredible!)
We went to Tyler for the first time since last Summer. We talked about the changes and the crazy traffic. On our way home, you counted down the miles until we were home. Home…here in our small town.
Bub, I’ll fight you every day to be the man I know you can be. To be the man that loves others well by providing for them and seeing needs of others. I’ll fight for you against the crap that this world wants to sling in your direction. (And I’m not ever going to be cool about you and girlfriends. At least not for a while.)
2017 is gonna be a breeze if you keep your chin up and your wits about you. (It will also be easier if you don’t act your age. But that’s just a suggestion.) Love-mom
Katelynn, I knew that this year, 5th grade, would bring about lots of changes for you. This is that “defining year” between childhood and teenhood. This is the time when you test me and dad and work hard to figure out just who you think you might want to be. You’ve absolutely matured. You know what you like and express clearly when you don’t.
And….(and probably the hardest for me to watch) you are working on the friend thing. Watching you hurt and be left out sucks big time. I feel powerless and useless. I can’t fix your loneliness or mend your broken heart. I can’t show these girls how great you are or kicked them in their shins.
And your teaching me that I don’t have to fix it or kick anyone. (You also made it clear that kicking a 10 year old would inappropriate…. So wise.)
You started back at volleyball and are working hard. This year is a little more competitive but you have stepped up and met the challenges of the team. You are a great team mate and player for your coaches. You encourage the girls and enjoy the relationships with your team.
You also love Santa. Of course, you finally wrote him a letter the day before Christmas and assured me that the things on the list would be here beacause Santa had it covered. He/She didn’t. And you either don’t really care that much about your list OR don’t care that mom drops the ball a lot.
I feel like this will be the last year we celebrate and look forward to Santa’s arrival. Which means it’s the last year I “have” to eat Oreos late at night. This also means the time of the Elf is coming to a close. You made some really cute clothes and accessories for her this year. I’m proud that you can sew and think to be creative like that.
I have to admit that right now I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas a little differently. I’m certain I’ll be sad about it and the loss of innocence. But I’m not feeling that right now.
Sister, I’m proud of the confident person you are becoming. I’m proud that you like yourself and bend to no one. I’m proud that you work hard at school and keep up with your responsibilities without me.
2017 will be great. You are great and are ready for the next year and chapter that 2017 will bring. Love you to the moon-mom