Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An open letter to my children

Dear sweet little ones,

I hope you know how very loved you are.  Daddy and I dreamed of you before you were even created, and loved you before you were born.  We are just amazed at the creative, caring, intelligent people you are growing into.  That being said, there are a few (hundred) things we'd still like to teach you.  Here are the top five of the moment:

1. Yep, you're right.  "It just isn't fair."  Although when you scream it, it's usually because you're not getting your way.  See photo evidence below:

Yes, my dears, it is NOT fair that some children suffer with hunger and don't have the opportunity to go to school.  You, however, are throwing fits on a DISNEY CRUISE, while eating pizza, fries, and cookies with the BAHAMAS in the background.  Let's find a little gratitude.

2. "I'm not your best friend anymore."  This is what you throw at me when you're mad at me.  The truth is, though, being a best friend isn't about the other person always doing what you want them to do.  Friendship, like any relationship (parent-child included), is about looking out for what is best for one another and encouraging each other to be our best.  I really hope that we are best friends one day and have a relationship built on mutual respect and interests.  Until then, I hope to teach you about caring for others' feelings as much as you do your own.

3.  We have routines that we do EVERY DAY.  It should not come as a surprise that you must wake up/go to bed, brush teeth, eat, clean up take medicine, and get dressed/undressed.  I know you hate us reminding you multiple times (but trust me, not as much as we hate saying it repeatedly).  The quicker you do it on your own, the more time we'll have for the fun stuff.

 I know you get frustrated.  It is so hard to learn new things, and you are confronted with so many needs and demands.  It's easy to just want to give up.  But even though life is sometimes hard, it is also beautiful and full of wonder.  Those things that we struggle with end up making us stronger, more capable, and hopefully more empathetic to others who are having difficulties.

5.  We'll love you forever, no matter what.  As we sing in the song from that book we've read far too many times to count, 

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

When we get angry or disappointed, you may worry that our feelings have changed.  But love is more than a feeling.  It is a way of being that only grows and deepens.  We loved you before we knew you, and it's only more real and eternal now that we know incredible you.  That love will never go away and we will be forever connected through our bond of family.  We will all disappoint one another, but our love means that we find our way to forgiveness and reconnection.  You can do nothing to break or lose our love, just as you did nothing to create it.  It is God-given, just as God gave us the gift of you.

With love,

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