Oh my youngest son…how I treasure our similarities. How I delight in your dimples, swell with maternal pride at your heart that seeks to comfort anyone you see who is hurting, stand in awe of the way you plop down on a dirty old couch and fist bump a stranger who looks so different from you without a second thought under the graffiti-ed bridge when we go serve meals to the homeless outdoors, thank God for your analytical mind that goes round and round trying to figure out the mysteries of the universe, laugh at how you insist on acting at least 4 years older than you are and how you cry because you are only 7-years-old and the teenage girls you swoon over don’t think about you in “that” way and won’t give you the time of day. Bless your precious heart my sweet baby. I love you so. Even your rebelliousness, stubborn never-back-down resolve, and your love of using curse words (in context and scholarly used for the added emphasis and emotion of course) make me throw my head back with laughter. You are my mini-me on the inside and your Grand-daddy on the outside. While you look like him, your mind and heart are carbon copies of mine.
As much as I love these things about you, I know you are in for a rough ride at least until you are 30 and muster the courage to shamelessly embrace your heart and your gifts. You will experience more intense highs and lows in life based on my experience living as a highly sensitive, intensely emotional, empathic, yet mischievous warrior for love. When you lose someone you love for the first time, I will know that you just need me to lay there with you and rub your back as you cry for hours on end. I will put on some soothing music or a movie for us. I will never, ever tell you not to cry or to toughen up. I don’t want you hardened or cold. I want you just as you are. I will do my best to help you see that who you are is a gift to this world and you don’t let the cold logic and sarcasm of this world make you feel less than. At some point, I hope you realize that some people are just piss and vinegar and you are nectar and ambrosia. Screw em. Let em have their piss and vinegar. It’s always ok to say “that one’s just not for me” when it comes to people, ideologies, food, etc. I hope you don’t judge others for their choices, but always feel free to say “nah, that’s not for me” when it doesn’t feel right.
I hope you see in the way I live my life that in my 30 years I have found some things that help keep me joyful and at peace. You know mama needs her yoga and her time with Jesus. Other things that help me and might help you as you climb this mountain called life include focusing on what I can control and letting go of what I can’t (for instance, I can’t control someone being rude and critical, but I can sure as hell control whether I hang out with that person or not), breathing deeply while thinking of all I have to be thankful for in life, keeping negative people at a nice distance, understanding the importance of boundaries and honesty, hanging out with people older than myself, taking good care of myself so that I can take care of others, yoga, prayer, singing, reading my Bible, reading books on all kinds of spiritual philosophies and traditions, taking some quiet time to feel the beauty and wisdom of nature, and helping others. If you want to get yourself out of a funk, just go out in the world and be nice to somebody. Give a waitress a great tip. Give hugs and kind words liberally. Go bring those homeless people under the bridge some good food and encouragement. Its hard to feel bad for yourself or weighed down by the cruelty in the world when you are being the love the world needs more of.
And as far as older women…honey, one day those older ladies will start to notice you…a lot…and you will have the time of your life as you bypass the immaturity and insecurity for wisdom and experience. It will work out. But, it may take some patience. In the mean time, you know your mama is going to teach you everything I can about being a respectful, romantic man. You can ask me anything and you know mama’s gonna give it to you straight.
My goal is for you to be happy, loving, and make this world a better place than before you came into it. That’s it. My job is to show you the ropes and help you spread those wings to fly. Don’t forget that we are ALL just winging it through life. You aren’t the only one, baby. You’re gonna be alright. Because we’ll wing it together…always.