You really LIVE. At five, you get the importance of every little minute and make the most of it. You don’t just go feed the ducks; you really soak in the scene. You try to imagine what they are saying to one another (or you) as they quack around, making up funny duck conversations about yummy bread and cold water. You notice that duck over there with the poufy head and that one over there with the darker wings and that one over there that looks lonely.You watch with curious eyes, a gentle heart, an open mind, and you make sure to notice the details and enjoy the adventures. You jump in puddles and don’t worry that your legs just got dirty. There are more important things happening here. The cool water feels funny on your feet and your reflection is wavy & silly and the air smells different now. There is life to lived here and you will make the most of every second.
Sometimes, this is hard for me. At times, I just don’t know how to slow down. When you are crawling out of the car as s l o w l y as possible, pretending that you are a snake. When you want to play “restaurant” at breakfast (complete with an accent and Mommy-as-waitress listing all of the specials) and I know we have just overslept and have a schedule.
I am so lucky to have you, to run in while I am doing dishes and say, “come look at THIS sunset, Mom!” And when I hesitate, you run back in, “Mom, it’s so pretty. Come look at this sunset.” And I do. Because that sweet voice is my reminder that this is something to get in a rush about – unlike these dishes, the sunset won’t last forever. And, sweet boy, neither will 5-year-old you.
You will grow into a big boy, a teenager, a man and my biggest wish is that, along the way, you don’t lose this curiosity, this gentleness, this openness. That you continue to really LIVE and that you continue to inspire those around you to as well.
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This month, I just want to thank you.
Your easy-going nature and sweet soul make even the most trying times easier to confront.
Those trying times like waking up in the morning, before coffee, when you walk into my room and say, “Momma, the sun is up – it’s time to wake up,” staring at me with that beautiful smile and eager attitude. Here I am, wanting to pull the covers over my head and hurumph at the morning for coming too soon and you are there to remind me that, “This is awesome – we have another beautiful day to enjoy!”
And when I broke 3 of the bowls from my very favorite set – the bowls I saw someone else purchasing at TJ Maxx and then went to 5 more TJ Maxx stores until I found them. You love them too. You love to stack them and sort them and I was always amazed at how durable they were. Until I dropped them and 3 broke. I had to break the news to you. And what did you say? “How many did you say broke?” “3,” I said. “And how many are left?” “6,” I said. “Well, 6 is more than 3,” as you patted my hand. Good point, son. Very good point.
And those long days when I speak too harshly out of impatience and then tell you, “I’m sorry, H. I shouldn’t have talked to you in that tone.” “You don’t need to apologize, Momma, I already forgave you.” Well, you may think I don’t need to apologize, but I certainly need to thank you.
You make me a better person.
You calm me down, you make me more honest, you help me be more optimistic, and you help me sleep more soundly by giving me hope for the future because you are part of it.
Read other letters to inspirational sons in our blog circle starting with DSisk Photograpy | Southern Indiana Photographer
Full disclosure – this letter is as much for me (okay, more for me) than my son. I will need this reminder often in the next few years.
It has shocked me how calm I am when you hurt yourself. With a nickname like Safety Pup, there were many people (including myself) who feared I would be the most overprotective parent ever. But even with the hardest falls, I tend to not react at all. I suspect it’s because you are so calm when you get hurt. You once caught your HARD fall with your forehead and didn’t even cry. Didn’t even whimper, only checked to make sure you hadn’t dropped your ball that was occupying your hands at the time. But you sported a goose egg that made people gasp when they saw you.
You recently blackened your eye on a patio chair and I didn’t even know it happened for several minutes, even though I was on the same patio.
I am lucky that I was blessed with a child that helps me not overreact simply by his example.
But, recently, I have noticed that I risk being an overprotective parent in the feelings department. When a big kid is taking advantage of your youth and making all of the game rules or someone calls you a liar when you are just making up your imaginative stories, Mama Bear instincts take over and I want to tell those kids to back off. You used to brush this stuff off too, but with each passing month, you are paying more attention to your feelings. And it makes me want to jump in and make it all better.
Here is what I know, though, and I hope this wisdom can help ME back off when things get hard for you: you can’t learn and grow if things are always easy – it’s the sadness, tragedy, and frustrations in life that build character and help us discover tools for the next difficult time. If I always rescue you from the hard times, I will stunt your emotional growth and mold a man who can’t solve his own problems. Standing up to the big kid now will help prepare you for the workplace bullies of your future. Explaining that your imaginative stories are your way to have fun will help you learn to explain your intentions in the future – in professional and personal relationships.
I will still insist on helmets when you ride “anything with wheels,” and I will likely say, “be careful” more times than you could ever count, but I promise I am trying to let go and let you take care of yourself. I can’t completely step away and not offer tools to help keep you safe and cope, but I pledge to you that I will allow you to hurt and allow you to grow (even though I wish I could just keep you this age forever. Kidding. Kind of.)
Please visit Kelly Smith | Real Life Photography of Tampa to follow the blog circle.
It is awesome (but a little intimidating) to be able to help shape a young human like you.
I get to review the experiences of my life and try to impart whatever I believe to be the most important lessons and wisdom I gathered along the way. But, as always happens, the student manages to teach the teacher much more along the way.
This month, I want to thank you for the most important lesson you have taught me.
Slow down and just play.
Not for a few minutes just to check a box. But really lose myself in the imagination and simple fun of playing.
It’s nice to have clean countertops and empty email boxes and completed crafts, but a clean home isn’t nearly as entertaining as pretending to order blueberry pancakes from the Scooby Doo waiter
or as important as an hour of building Lego ships that merge with the Imaginext world to save the universe
and certainly not as fun as playing tandem-jump monster trucks!
It’s hard for me to slow down and forget my to do list, but you have helped me to prioritize what is so obviously the #1 item – giving my full attention to being the best mom to you and cherishing these moments of play with you. I know all too well that, one day, I will ache with a want to hear those words, “momma, will you come play with me?”
Please follow to circle to Jennifer Miles Smay’s blog – http://
This is my first letter as part of the blog circle Letters to our Sons. Although we are spread across the country and have never met, we have two things in common: we love photography and we adore our sons. Make sure to click on the link below this post to see the next blog in this circle.
I jokingly tell you to stop growing, that I wish I could hold you and rock you in my arms forever. Although I am painfully aware how much I will miss these days, I do want you to grow because I am excited to see the man you will become. Sadly, though, I know that age and maturity often bring on cynicism and the loss of some awesome childlike traits.
My wish for you as you grow into the phenomenal man I know you will become is to hang onto some of your childlike ways.
1. Laugh often and loud, at your own jokes and at yourself. That sweet laugh has [almost] made me a morning person. Rolling out of bed is easier when I know I will be surrounded by your joyful carefree spirit. Don’t be afraid to laugh at your own jokes.
2. Embrace your soul and be confident that you are awesome; if you don’t love you, other people have a hard time finding a way to love you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay humble; you need to find something to love about everyone, that unique thing that makes us all special. Celebrate that in yourself and others. Encourage it in yourself and others. And realize that other people’s strengths don’t define your weaknesses, rather they define what makes both of you amazing individuals.
3. Believe that people are good. As we grow, it’s so easy to put up walls and defenses to protect us from the hurt, but those walls and fences also shield us from the love. It hurts to be shut down, and that will happen. It may happen a lot. But the more open you are to the love, to believing people are good until they prove you wrong, the more love you will get to experience. And all of that love that’s built up inside your little soul will help buffer the inevitable pain from those that wrong you.
4. Keep using that imagination, even when others say what you are inventing is impossible, wrong, crazy, or weird. The world needs people who aren’t afraid to risk presenting new ideas. And the world definitely needs more people who are willing to be vulnerable for the chance to create something amazing.
5. Always hold my hand and hug me. I cringe to think there will be a day when I pick you up from school and you push me away because I’m your MOM and, “come on, my friends will see.” The energy and love I get from your little hand inside mine can get me through an entire day or calm me down at the end of a stressful night. One of the things that made me fall for your Daddy was watching how tenderly he treated his own mom, even when the other teenage boys were watching. I hope that I am a mom that helps shape you into a young man [like your Mimi did with your dad] so that you feel confident in yourself and have pride in your mom so that you never feel the need to pull away from my hugs.
You’re a special boy that already touches the hearts of those who know you, for 30 seconds or 4 years. You have that spark, that special something, that makes people love you and want to be around you. You are going places, kid, and it will be the hardest but proudest part of my life to watch you need me less as you grow into your own person. Along the way, just know I love you and make good choices.
Please follow the circle to Boston Area Photographer Beth Ann Fricker’s page to read about her sweet little curly headed boy!