Sunday, January 22, 2017

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

You told Daddy upon his return home from a three day business trip, "I didn't make Mommy upset, not even one time."  Before Daddy left, he told you to behave and be extra good, because Mommy wasn't feeling well.  I had a sinus infection (which I'm still coughing from, but a thousand times better than last weekend).  My parents were out of town at the time, Daddy was away on business, but even with that.... you going to school and Mommy going to work and being sick, well, we managed.  But yes, I'm thrilled to say you were an extra good boy.

I can't believe that in a few weeks you will be four years old.  You were such a sweet baby, loving cuddles and falling asleep holding strands of my hair.  Even as a baby, you loved to smile and see us make silly faces.  Now, as a boy, you enjoy making the silly faces, jokes about farts (boys, what can you do), and giving hugs and kisses.

Just recently I watched a television show... there was a mom and her 14 year old boy.  The son was pretty obnoxious.  The mother walked into his room and she said to herself, "I miss my baby.  My sweet boy who gave hugs and was quick to smile.  I miss that sweet boy."  I don't know what your future will be, how obnoxious you might become... so in the meantime, I'm cherishing these precious moments of your sweetness.

You love doing things on your own, "no, let me do it."  We love to teach you and help you grow in your confidence and independence... but sometimes... it's not a good thing.

Today you gave Mommy and Daddy a horrible scare.  We were in the grocery store.  You darted down a different aisle.  Daddy said he was going after you, but then we couldn't find you!  We were running down the aisles calling your name.  I heard your voice and saw you running for me.  Daddy and Mommy were so upset that you started to cry.  You are independent, but you hopefully understand how important it is to stay with Mommy and Daddy now.  You're just too fast and determined.

It's the first time we've had a scare like that and I pray never again.  We explained how a stranger could take you away if you aren't with us.  Next time we go somewhere, we will have this conversation with you again prior to the outing.  You're a smart boy and you understand.  You make promises and you know you need to keep them.  Staying safe with Mommy and Daddy is a big promise.

School is going very well.  Each morning you want to stay in bed.  Daddy and Mommy become the tickle monsters.  You greet the sunshine with laughter.  Once we are at school, you are eager for the classroom door to open.  There's a small window on the door; you stand on tippy toes to look through the window.  Then you step aside for your school mates to look and see what the teachers are working on for the day.

Some mornings you ask me if you can run and play with your schoolmates in the St. Augustine courtyard.  After you promise you will come back inside when the door is open - then, yes, you run outside, play chase and tag and see which child can jump the highest.  As another parent said, "How do they have that much energy in the morning."

When we are in the hallway, a few minutes before the door opens, you and your friends are chatterboxes.  You'll describe the decorations on the door, point to each name, talk about favorite toys.  It's adorable.

When I pick you up from school, you grab my hand and run me over to the wall, showing me how your banana is in green.  You aren't the only one.  While we are there and you point to your banana in green, other children then get up and say, "There's my banana too!"  The children have a sense of pride in their good behavior.

Thinking about next year makes me a little sad.  We still don't know what school you will attend.  Will you get accepted into a school that only spent 15 minutes with you for testing?  Will you get accepted into a more expensive school where we are trying for financial aid?  Will you win the lottery (literally) at another school?  Will you stay at St. Augustine's for the last year they offer classes?  You have friends this year.  I'm praying that even if you and your schoolmates go to different schools next year that we, as parents, can keep in touch via Facebook and attend play dates and parties.  The children at your school are so sweet and a great group of friends.

For instance, when Daddy came back from his business trip, he offered to bring you to school the next morning.  I made your lunch box and put it in Daddy's car.  But when Daddy dropped you off to school, he forgot the lunchbox.  The teacher called Mommy at work and I sent Daddy a text.  Fortunately, Daddy was really close by your school and dropped your lunchbox off in time.

Daddy said, "It was cute to see all the kids sitting at the table for lunch.  Gregory pointed to me and said, "You FORGOT my lunch!"  The other kids all spoke up, "That's okay.  We took care of Gregory.  We shared our food with him."  It was something to see."  This story warmed my heart - children not just sharing with a schoolmate but taking care of their friend in need.  This is the beauty and character that the parents and St Augustine's teachers and environment have developed with our children.

I love you, son.  I love your joy of life and your compassion and even your little frowns of annoyance.  Thank you for letting me see the world through your eyes and lifting my spirits to youth and faith again, the way that only a child can do.

Love Always,

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