Twas the weekend before Christmas, and silence all through the house. Both the boys are sleeping..and even the cat’s are leaving me the heck alone.
Which is the perfect time for a blog post, right?
I hope the holiday’s are finding you well, and that you are soaking in all the holiday joy. I on the other hand, can’t believe Christmas is next weekend. It has come by so quickly. Everything I wanted to get done this year, is for sure not happening. Like making tamales, maybe next year. I kind of thought that was going to be an ambitious goal.
So while the two boys are sleeping I figured what better time to work on my second installment of letters to my son. This one takes a lot of time and thought, so I really needed to have some semblance of peace around me while I work on it. Which is why there’s only 2 so far because it so rarely happens.
So volume 2, is going to be all about me…but…not really? It’s going to address all the things I have learned so far from being this little boy’s mama. And I know for sure I am not done learning.
Dear little smushsmush,
When I first found out I was pregnant with you the emotion I had was disbelief. I wish so badly that I could tell you it was euphoria and Joy. But it wasn’t. I felt like someone was playing a joke on me, and not because I didn’t want you, oh boy did I want you. It was because I felt like I had tried and hoped and dreamed for so long that I couldn’t even believe it was possible that now you were here. Eventually after 15 pregnancy tests and the first ultrasound that disbelief wore off and it was replaced with joy…and worry…
And that leads me to my first and one of the most important things you have taught me.
You’ve taught me to love myself in a way that no one and nothing has ever taught me.
Growing up I have always struggled with my weight and pretty much every aspect of my looks. I got made fun of for my red hair and freckles and my weight. I got fun of for being too pale, and even still I get told that I should go get a tan. I already know, that it is going to break my heart the first day that you come home upset or crying because someone was mean. My sweet boy, know that high school and all the other years are not the best years of your life. Brush off what they say and only worry about being a good person at the end of the day.
I didn’t do that. Throughout my childhood, I really struggled to fit in, and to be ‘pretty’ enough. And so, it was no wonder that in my high school years I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I developed an eating disorder. (Sorry mom, if you’re reading this, which I’m sure you are, because you have done nothing but support my ambitions in life). I felt horrible I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. And when I did look in the mirror all I could see was something repulsive. Obviously, everything people said about me was right. Or so I thought. And when you feel that disgusted by yourself, all the time, it’s a hard thing to handle. I remember that one of my high school goals, wasn’t to get good grades, it was to drop a ridiculous amount of weight in a short period of time so that I could walk across the stage, accept my diploma and show those assholes that were mean to me that I could be pretty.
It started small, and greatly progressed. Before I knew it I had fully developed an eating disorder…and I loved it. I loved the sense of control and I loved how much weight I was losing, I loved finally being ‘skinny’. But here’s the thing…It was never enough. I never felt good enough. And that’s what it comes down too. It didn’t matter how much weight I lost, I was never going to like myself until I really learned how to love myself. And that is not something I have really accomplished until having you. Don’t get me wrong. I still have my moments, especially because the eating disorder was also about having control and I greatly desired and enjoyed how much control I felt I had while doing that. But when I look in the mirror now, when I have down days, I take a step back. And I think about how truly wonderful my body is. No, I may not be at the size I want, but I grew this tiny perfect little life inside of me for nine months. My body shifted around, and pushed itself upwards to fit you, and grow you, and nourish you. My body…is badass. And I refuse to disrespect it in the manner I used to. I refuse to not recognize the pain, and hardship it went through during labor to birth you, and the energy and love and life it took to nourish and grow you. I am beautiful because of that. And feeling that way is an emotion that I have never experienced, that appreciation for my body has never been there…until you.
The second thing you have taught me is patience. Please know that I am not perfect, and I still and will always have my moments. But man, I am trying so hard to get better about this. My level of patience before having you was zero. So it goes without saying that it has gone up. When you first came along, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing (still don’t) and so there were moments that were very frustrating and I didn’t have the patience for that. But now I have started to recognize that sometimes when you are fussing and just want to be held, it’s a sign…that we both need to take a pause from everything that is going on and take a break. You have gotten me to slow down, to pause and breath. This is something that I never understood or was capable of. I never realized how much I truly needed to learn how to do that, but I did. I am too uptight, expecting things to always go perfect and to always go my way. That’s not life. And That was a hard pill for me to swallow, one that I still struggle with and probably will for your entire life. I truly hope that when you look back on your childhood you will see and recognize how hard I tried to control and better this.
The third thing is the realization and acceptance that I do not have everything figured out and that I don’t have to have everything figured out.
When I turned 20 I freaked. I didn’t have a college degree, or a career, we were losing a house, and I was living with my boyfriend in a different state then my parents (your daddy was that boyfriend).
I felt like everything was spiraling out of control, because I had nothing figured out. I remember thinking I was never going to amount to anything, that I was already 20 and I had nothing figured out.
Here’s the thing kid.
I’m 27. And I still don’t have everything figured out.
But now, since having you, I’ve realized that that’s ok. My most important job is raising you to be a good person. I have more of a plan then I did when I was 20. But I also understand that shit happens and plans change, and I am more okay with that now.
Here’s the thing little man, you can plan out your entire life. Go buy a bulletin board, index cards and push pins and map it all out, take the tedious time and energy to put up your idealistic life plan. But you will only be setting yourself up for failure.
Because when life happens and you have to take off half of those index cards, stuck in your plan and your way you will be unable to recognize the bigger picture, the ultimate end goal…being happy.
Please don’t do this.
Don’t make the mistake I made in my early 20’s.
Have a plan but be flexible, be comfortable and willing to change those index cards, to rearrange them and have back up plans. Recognize that sometimes, those index cards you painstakingly wrote out, those ideas you put down, with love and hope…sometimes they need to be let go…and that’s totally okay.
The only constant is that we are constantly growing, and changing. We are never who we were yesterday. So how do you expect, that at 20 you will have how the rest of your life is going to go figured out?
These are just the three big things you have taught me so far. I am constantly learning from you still. I love learning from you, and watching you grow and learn. I never realized how much you would teach me. It may seem small, these three things, but they are monumental to the grand scheme of my life. You are the best thing I have ever done.
Sometimes, you may not like what I say. Sometimes, I may not want to say or tell you these things, but I will. Because I need you to know the truth. I will always be honest with you Edwin. I will always tell you the truth of things even if they are hard. Even if I want to protect you.
Someday when you read all of this, I hope you will understand, and love me for the way I was, for the good things, and for my faults and indiscretions. I hope you will learn from me and find happiness.