Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear Commando

This is an open letter to my #2 son, known affectionately as The Commando (to be read when he's at least 25). Your journey through this life has been fraught with challenges, some of which have yet to occur. So on this cusp of what could be a time of enormous difficulty - that is coming into puberty and potentially watching your dad  fall from superhero to man behind bars- I want to provide you with some protective clothing to ease the soreness that inevitably comes from the prickly thorns and jagged rocks known as life's lessons.

You came into this world against seemingly insurmountable odds. It was defined as the persistence of a powerful spirit who would not take no for an answer. Sending me to the hospital with a blood clot to my lungs was a clever way to get me taken off the birth control pills I had taken for hormonal relief. I get that. But how in the name of all things sacred and holy did you manage to circumvent seven years of infertility? I was as barren as my flowerless hydrangea. Not only that but you out swam all the competition and nestled yourself within the very first follicle my body produced only one month after my near death experience.  Does this mean there is hope for my hydrangea?

When you want something, you don't like to wait for it. Would it have killed you to have given me a little time to adjust and prepare? God must have been sick of listening to you. "Okay, okay already, geesh, I'll let you be born if you'll just leave me alone." And with a thunderous clap of his mighty hands, God sent you to me. But not before hundreds of celestial beings swept you up in a frenzy of freckled kisses.

You have the tenacity to propel your dreams and not settle for anything less.

Once you arrived, you nearly killed me again. Your first two months were spent without sleeping more than an hour at a time. You woke up screaming, not in hunger or in need, but in pain. You couldn't hold down your bottles, refused to breast feed and kept me up all hours of the night worrying about why you never pooped. It wasn't until your two month check-up when the doctor spotted the trouble in the form of a hernia. She told us you had been suffering long and hard. One surgery later and you were a whole new set of trouble but honestly, what a horrible way to be welcomed into this world.

You have the tolerance to bare great pain and emerge whole.

Baby boy, you suffered our divorce harder than anyone, myself and your dad included. Our marriage and the anger that spewed from its dying mouth was heaped upon you; yet you steadfastly fought against the idea of our family splitting apart. In the aftermath, you witnessed the suffering, you were manipulated against me and you grew to deeply resent me for leaving your dad to lie prostrate on the floor, wrenching with emotional regret. You came out of it fueled with anger, rife with hate and ready to tear me apart limb by limb. 

You will always fight to protect yourself and those you love.

You have come back to me. My little baby who wouldn't crawl on his hands and knees; choosing instead to hobble about on hands and feet like Mowgoli making his way through the jungle. My precious toddler who had to sleep directly on top of me when he was sick. My spitfire who insisted he should be allowed to drive at the age of four. You are working through all the anger and uncertainty and you are seeing the truth with your eyes wide open. You are struggling with your dad now, trying to come to terms with his causes and restrictions. He is scared baby love. He is afraid you will do the things he did as a young man coming into puberty. And, he is preparing you in case he has to go away for a while.

You are smart enough to trust your instincts and believe what you see then decide for yourself.

You are a delight. A young man who knows what is expected of him as you approach the mouth of the river that will guide you through your life. The many branches lie before you, tempting you to follow the bitter, dried-up path you knew or perhaps to choose a new stream. One that runs calm and beautiful with tiny waterfalls along the way to wash you clean of anger and allow your spirit to surge past the rocks, past the fallen trees, past all obstacles placed in your way.   When you channel yourself with love and allow us to love you right back, there will be no stopping you. These lessons are yours, chosen for you to understand, not now, but to one day look back upon and realize......

You are so much stronger than you know.


  1. OMG, how sweet was that? He sounds like an amazing little man-probably due to the fact he has an amazing mama!!

  2. Chilling, loving, the most beautiful thing...

  3. Thanks Candance, Robin and CarrieAnn. This little boy and I have traveled a rough road together. If I can continue to reach him, he will be an amazing man indeed.

  4. God took two young men from your family and this sounds to me like you have replaced them with what should have been. Keep up the good work! All things worth having take work!


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