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My Baby You’ll Be

This is a letter to my son, my first born.

Before I go on, I want to say to my daughter, should she be reading this one day, that this is nothing against her.  I love that little girl with every fiber of my being, and her being in my life has made me a better person.  I am more in love with her than she will ever, ever know.

But this isn’t about her.  This is about my boy.

To my son, I ask for your forgiveness.

Last night, you fell asleep on the couch – and for the first time in a long time – I stared at you as you slept.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.  You, my first born, have been my “practice kid” – the one I make the most mistakes with, the one that I am still learning with, and the one that is raising me as much as I am raising you.

Son, I am sorry if at times it seems as though I don’t know what I am doing.  For the most part, I don’t.

I am sorry if I get angry at you for little things.  I have to remember that you are only 5 and you are still developing.

I am sorry if I can’t be at some of your school’s functions.  Mommy has to work to provide for the family, but it breaks my heart that I cannot be there everytime you need me.

I am sorry I travel occasionally for my job.  Luckily you have an AMAZING father who doesn’t skip a beat.  But I know there are times when daddy just won’t do.  You miss your mommy’s hugs.  (I miss yours, too when I am gone).

I am sorry that sometimes I have to put your sister’s needs before yours.  She is younger & requires more attention.  But please do not misinterpret my tending to her as loving her more.  Not true.

I am sorry that I do not buy you whatever your heart desires.  I want to – I do.  But you have to learn what its like to earn your money & spend it wisely.

I am sorry I don’t let you eat things that are bad for you.  I, too, would enjoy eating nothing but donuts and sugar all day, every day…..but it’s unhealthy, and you deserve better.

I am sorry if I seem to get annoyed with the things that you do, or I let my day effect my attitude.  This, over anything else, is the thing that makes me not like myself.  It’s not your fault I had a bad day.  You make my day BETTER.

I am sorry for the mistakes I will make in the future.

I apologize, in advance, for crying everytime you “graduate” to another grade.  It’s just a reminder that you are getting older and eventually won’t need me as much.

I apologize, in advance, for yelling at you a little too loud should you take up sports.  I am very competitive, and I like to win.  I don’t expect you to have that same fierce spirit in you; but I do hope you understand that I like to yell at the refs.

I apologize, in advance, for following you when you go out with your friends.

I apologize, in advance, for calling you all of the time when you are not with me.

I apologize, in advance, for sobbing uncontrollably at your high school graduation.

I apologize, in advance, for buying an apartment close to your college.  (And YES – you WILL go to college.  It’s not a choice.  And I would be very happy if you went to Grand Valley State University please).

I apologize, in advance, for NOT sobbing uncontrollably at your college graduation.  That day I will be beaming with pride.  My boy.

I apologize, in advance, to your future spouse.  I would hate having a mother-in-law like I am going to be. 

Lastly, I apologize, in advance, for seeing you become a father but still thinking you are my baby.

“I will love you forever.  I will like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”  Son, seeing you grow up is such a joy and a blessing.  I love you more than you will ever know.  Please forgive the mistakes I have made & understand I am still growing up, too.

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Family, Marriage, Social

My Children’s Parents

I was sitting on the couch last night, minding my own business.  I looked up from my intense game of Angry Birds, and I catch eyes with my husband.

“What are you doing way over there,” I asked as he sat on the couch across from me.  “Why don’t you come over here and give me some sugar.”

3 seconds later, my husband was next to me.  I nuzzled my face into his neck and kissed him all over his face in a very playful way.  Back when I was in college, I read somewhere that when you kiss a man all over his face, he feels loved.  I’ve been doing this to my husband for years.

As I continued, my 2 1/2-year-old daughter comes into the living room.  She sees her mommy kissing her daddy.   Not too long after, my 5 1/2-year-old son is right behind her.  In the very brief moment between them seeing me kissing their father and them jumping onto our laps, I thought to myself, “This is SO GOOD for them to see their parents loving each other.”

My husband, for the record, was happy to get up so the kids could get some love from their momma.  He is, ummm….not very affectionate.  Granted, he has grown leaps and bounds in that department since we started dating 12 years ago.  But for the most part, he is who he is – not a cuddler.  I, on the other hand, LOVE giving affection, not so good at receiving affection – so we’re a perfect match.

My husband and I didn’t always have a great marriage.  In fact, you could say that in the beginning, we both thought we were headed for divorce.  It was hard for us, the transition from boyfriend/girlfriend to husband/wife.  We had never lived with each other before, we were both young (or young by today’s standards – married at 25), and we both had a fierce desire to remain independent.  I remember when we “celebrated” our 2nd wedding anniversary.  I thought to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe we didn’t divorce before 2 years.  Enjoy this anniversary, sister – it’s probably your last with this guy.”  And that’s how I felt.  I really felt it would be our last wedding anniversary.

Then, a little while later, something snapped in me.  I realized if I got a divorce, I would be punking out.  And I DON’T punk out.  I knew if I went through with a divorce, it wouldn’t be fair to him, to me, and to our marriage.  After all, we never really gave it a shot.  We never worked for it.  We just both assumed marriage would just work.  And when it didn’t, we both thought one thing – divorce.  But that’s not how I was raised, that’s not something I could comprehend.  I knew I could do better.  I knew I could work harder.  I knew I could change.

And luckily, he was thinking the same thing.

So, we did what most couples don’t do: we worked on our marriage.  Crazy concept, eh?  Not giving up?  Everyday – and I mean every SINGLE day – we worked on our marriage and on ourselves.  Before long, it became natural.  And not too long after that, I became happy again.  And then I realized, “Holy crap.  I love my husband.”  And what’s even better than loving your husband is respecting him, trusting him, and treating him with the decency and kindness that he deserves.

Most newlywed girls/women like to proclaim, “I married my best friend.”  Well, I didn’t.   I married my boyfriend.  Over time, over struggles and sadness and laughter and all that goes along with a marriage – he BECAME my best friend.  And that’s such a great feeling to have.  I come home everyday to a man that loves me for me, that listens to me, that hugs me, that constantly tells me how wonderful he thinks I am.  I’m not perfect by any means.  But there is someone in this world who thinks otherwise.  And that’s pretty awesome.

On January 6th, while he was visiting me in Las Vegas while I was there for work, he surprised me by renewing our vows.  And this time, they meant more.  This time, I felt the words.  I meant every word I uttered back when we got married in 2003.  But when I said those words again on January 6th, it was different.  We had experience, we had been burned, we had learned what it meant to fight for something we wanted.  That day, probably moreso than the day we got married, meant more to me than anything.

My kids have a great father who loves their mother very much.  And they have a great mother who will never stop kissing their fathers face on the couch.