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December 30, 2020

A holiday letter to my son

My dearest son, my first born child,

In my 64th year of life, I am amazed at the realization that my children were actually sent to me as teacher. You were my initiation into Motherhood, a job for which I had no experience and was, quite possibly completely unprepared and unqualified for. Some days, well actually most days, I fell flat on my face, but your sweet face, your innocence and your trust in me gave me the strength and the energy to right myself and do my best to become a better mother for you, my first born adored creation.

Our life together  was a series of firsts for both of us from that first total heartbreak of a love I had never felt before when our eyes locked for the first time, to our first night at home together, first feedings, baths, dressing, car seats, the first songs I learned to sing to you, first story times, sleepless nights, laughs, coos, cries, crawls, first steps, and all the milestones of firsts lived together. You were such a sweet, loving funny little boy and I loved you dearly.

I was coming into my own journey of womanhood, struggling to step out of the dependent daughter role with my own mother and into the honored space of being your mother and I didn’t always handle that in the most honorable way. I feel like I grew up with you and you taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I thought I’d be the only teacher.

I had the opportunity in my therapist’s office yesterday to re-visit my 32 year old self, to remember that part of my journey as a young woman and remember the relationships with my own mother and father at that time in my life and the changing need I felt for the role they played. The struggle in that last separation from child to woman was real and I didn’t always handle myself with integrity with them through it. That is cause for regret for me. I reconciled that with them both in their last years.

Moving into the crone, wise woman, grandmother years carries an intense perspective change which is good, but also brings an intense grieving along with it. Part of that process for me, with you, brings a great need for reconciliation and atonement for the burden you shared in my missteps in the on the job training of motherhood. The damage that those missteps held, the period of my life where my anger overflowed onto your precious heart grieves me still.

I remember the moment where you taught me where my bottom was. I think you were around 12. Something set me off inside and that rage feeling erupted. You were walking down the hall toward me and you recognized the rage in my eyes. You quickly turned around and went back to your room. In that exact moment, when I saw your back in retreat, my heart broke and I sank to my knees and I knew I had hit my personal bottom. You showed me, you taught me where that bottom was and that is when I made the decision to seek help and started my journey to becoming a better woman.

Watching you with your first born son and with you newly born Christmas daughter, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching me that lesson and know how much courage it took. I’ve asked your forgiveness before and you have graciously told me that all is well and you don’t remember. I still offer you that forgiveness and the opportunity to tell me whatever you need to which will help you to repair and restore your soul.

I love you dearly, my first born child.


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