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!