I admit it. When you walk out the door to go to school in the morning, sometimes my heart sinks. I’ve done my best to make sure you have what you need to succeed, but I find myself worrying—panicking even. It’s just that I know life is hard sometimes. I know kids can be cruel. Hey, sometimes adults can be even worse. I see you struggling right now because I know you don’t always feel like people “get” you.
Well, guess what, buddy? I get you.
As crazy as this sounds (and yes, I know I’m crazy), sometimes I wish I could turn you back into a baby for just one more day. It’s not because you aren’t exactly who I’d hoped you’d be. You’re even better. The reason is because way back then I could protect you. I didn’t have to send you out into this world that can be such a scary and cruel place. I didn’t have to worry about someone hurting you or breaking your spirit. I knew you were safe with me. When you were upset, I could wave that obnoxious Elmo doll in your face and make you laugh. When you were scared, I could pick you up and say, “Mommy’s got you.”
If you could be a baby for just one more day, I would hold you as much as possible. I would stare at your face and soak in the feeling of being able to keep you safe. I wouldn’t mind if you cried, because I could be there to find out what was wrong. If you were tired, I’d rock you and watch your innocent little face smile while you dreamed. I’d feed you if you were hungry. I’d sit with you on a clean blanket and play with cheap, boring plastic Tupperware on the living room floor. You wouldn’t look for anyone’s attention or acceptance except mine and your dad’s, and if you needed anything, I’d get it for you.
Wow. That seems kind of selfish after writing it down. Protecting you would make me feel better. I think that feeling is a normal part of motherhood. But it’s certainly not going to do you any good in the long run, is it? I realize that I have to let you go out and live your life. I have to let you go through the anxiety of the school lunch room. I have to let you grow and become independent, and I have to let you do it in your own way. I have to let you overcome your obstacles. You have to experience rejection, disappointment, fear and sadness. If you don’t, then you won’t appreciate the good times. And there will be lots of those! I have to let you enjoy life, and I also have to let you understand and accept the fact that not everyone is always going to “get” you.
You may not like all the things the other kids like. You may have your own little style, marching to the beat of your own drum. You are definitely one of a kind. You may come across bullies and groups of kids who don’t get that, but you are strong kiddo, oftentimes stronger than me. In fact, you inspire me. I know you’re going to grab this world by the balls one day, and your uniqueness will become greatness. Don’t change to try to fit in. Just remember that you’re never alone, and if it ever gets to be too much, just call me and I’ll come get you.
I’ll be honest, I’m probably always going to worry, and it’s hard for me that I can’t follow you around with a safety net. I can’t bundle you in bubble wrap and make sure nothing ever happens to you. But on the hard days, just know that you have a soft place to fall. I’m always here for you. Whatever happens in your life, even someday when you’re a teenager and you hate my guts, or when you are all grown up, living whatever life that you choose, I’ll still be here. You just be you. You are not meant to be anyone else.
I get you.
And I’m so freaking thankful that I got you.