Send me this letter in 10 years...

Son,

Today is one of those days that I am both in awe and complete panic over being your mother.  While it is a beautiful blessing, it is also a terrifying amount of responsibility.  Sure, right now my biggest worries are temper tantrums and keeping you alive as your try to climb all the things, but I know that as you grow so too will our conflicts.  Right now you are with me 24 hours a day and you get upset because I won't let you eat an entire stick of frozen butter.  You don't understand why.  Soon you will be away from me more hours than you are with me.  Soon you will be upset because I won't let you go out on Thursday night with your friends.  You won't understand why.  I know our journey has just begun...

Sometimes when you are playing quietly or drifting off to sleep I take a moment to wonder about who you will become.  Will you always be so intense and busy or will you calm with age?  When will your brilliant blonde hair fade and thicken?  Will you want a purple mohawk or will you prefer to have your hair neatly trimmed?  Will you always love animals or will you decide motorcycles are your thing?  Will you like to express yourself through your wardrobe or will you wear quiet clothes?  Will you sneak out and get a horrible tattoo that you cover up later in life?  Just so you know, both your father and I have already done the later.

I wonder, what mistakes will you make on your journey to find yourself?

These are all questions to which there is no answer.  I simply don't know, and while it is fun to imagine who you will become or what you will look like, it is silly to think that I have even so much as a clue.  I can assure you of one thing though, I will try my absolute hardest to let you be who YOU want to be, not who I want you to be.  You see son, you and I are part of each other, flesh and blood, but you do not belong to me.  Even when you were living and thriving off of my body alone, you did not belong to me.

You are your own person through and through, a tiny but important part of this enormous, beautiful, and often mad, mad world.  It is not my job to mold you into a person that simply parrots myself.  It is my job to let you figure out who you are for yourself.  To support you while you decide how you like your hair, what clothes you are comfortable wearing, and what activities excite you.  I happen to detest mushrooms, but perhaps they will be your favorite food.  I nearly vomit at the thought of public speaking, you may love it, your dad does.  I can not and will not watch scary movies but they may be your favorite kind.

I promise to give you the space to figure these things out for yourself, and I promise you can eat mushrooms, but I'm not cooking them.  The smell, oh god the smell alone!!

Sure, it will be difficult not to mindlessly encourage you to be like me. I am in fact around you all day every day so it is silly to think that my idiosyncrasies and preferences won't at least rub off on you,  but I don't ever want you to do something that you don't want to do simply because you think it's what I would prefer.  Okay, that's a blatant lie, I'd like you to like sleeping a little more and throwing rocks at the cat a little less.

Cache, if you need to have blue hair, have blue hair.  If you want to wear pink, wear it.  If you want to dress up like Batman, or study dirt or play the tuba, do it.  You see son, sometimes you have to try things in order to figure out what you actually like.  I know this because I have done it.  I know the permanency of a tattoo that you no longer like.  I know how long it takes to grow out bad hair dye.  I know what it feels like to dress a certain way not because you are comfortable, but because you are trying to be someone you are not.

I have already lived through many mistakes and so it will be difficult for me to bite my tongue and let you learn for yourself.  Not because I want to control you in some way, but because I have a deep desire to protect you from the hurt of growing up.  But I can't stop you from growing nor the pains that accompany it.  I actually wouldn't, even if I could.   Because all the attempts, the experiments, the hurts, they will all will become a part of what makes you you one day.  And while I will try my best to stand back and shut up, I have a feeling you will need to print this letter out and show it to me in about 10 years.

Or 5...

I can't promise that I will always get it right, but I promise to try.

Love,
Mama

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