For 2017, I've joined a blog circle of women who will each write a monthly letter to their child(ren). Read mine, then click here to read Evangeline's letter, then follow the links on around--you'll eventually land back here. And if you'd like to receive my letters and blog posts directly to your email inbox, click here to join my mailing list. (I promise, I'm not going to spam you or share your info).
My sweet boy, as 2016 comes to a close and the promise of an unspoiled year shines before us, I can't help but reflect on how much you have changed in the past year. At 11, with 12 just a few days away, you have spent the year straddling the divide between childhood and adolescence. Some days, you are still the effervescent child you have always been, bubbling with enthusiasm about your latest topic of fascination. You will still sweetly request cuddles at bedtime, begging me to play with your hair or scratch your back while I sing old jazz classics or broadway songs. You don't sigh or pull away when I embrace you, and for a moment, I can still smell the sweet scent of the skin at the nape of your neck and remember the countless nights that I have repeated this ritual.
Other days, adolescence dominates, and you turn mercurial and moody. You swing from bravado to anger to tears in a moment, and your father and I are breathless trying to keep up with your moves. Your wit and sarcasm have not yet been tempered by time and wisdom, so often you disrespect when you only meant to disarm with laughter. You shrug away my embrace, you deliberately sabotage my attempts at tender moment, and I am frustrated at feeling as if my little boy is slipping farther away.
These shifts that accompany the raging hormones (and your rapidly growing frame) have left your father and I off-balance. There are days when we feel as if a stranger has moved into our home, and yet in a moments' notice, the sweet boy we recognize can come bounding back again. Dad and I are trying our best to keep up. We are breathing deeply and stretching our patience as far as we can, and yet so often, we find ourselves speaking harshly or reacting with anger. It is incredibly unsettling, to have reached this point in our parenting journey--having accumulated quite a bit of wisdom along the way--and yet to suddenly find yourself as lost and clueless as a new parent again.
But despite all of the changes that have swept through our home in the past year (a trans-Pacific move, new home, new schools, new friends, new routines, and new phases of life), one thing has never wavered. Not once. My love for you is constant. Despite the angry words we sometimes exchange, the exasperation with which I may speak, I have never once wavered in my love for you and my faith in your potential. I love you so much, Aiden, and no matter how large you may grow or how angry or moody you may act, my love will stretch and grow and shift to accommodate you. And although some days I may fail, I will try my best to give you the space you need to grow. To not suffocate you with my memories and expectations, but allow you to stretch into your full God-given potential.
This time in your life is so incredibly difficult for all of us--but so very important. And I feel so privileged to stand witness to your transformation.