Thursday, July 10, 2014

Birthday Letter

{I am attempting to write a letter a year to each of my kids. I think it should be stated now that although Nathan has the ability to read this, he hasn't. All in good time, my friends. Find a past letter to Nathan here.}

Dear Nathan,

As I sit here at work, watching you twiddle your thumbs and count paperclips, I can't help but think about something you said the other day. You told me you were halfway to the teens. As much as I'd like to shove that thought out of my head, it makes me realize just how long you've been around. Believe me, I know seven is barely the beginning, but you're a far cry from that bitty baby in preemie clothes.

Seven years ago, we didn't know when you were going to come home from the hospital. Granted, your medical issues were a cinch compared to babies who spend the first months and years of their lives in sterile rooms, but this was new. And I was scared. Honestly, I was just as scared about taking you home. The nurses would hand you over and it was on me. It was my job to turn this pink little lump into a model citizen. My job to keep you safe. I had to know the right amount of formula and the signs of illness, to block all the outlets, and to watch you sleep. My job to keep you happy. I had to toe the line between friend and mother, let you eat Doritos for breakfast, and push you on the swing for hours. My job to help you succeed. I am supposed to help you with homework, fill out your college applications, pray during your job interviews, and support you when you fail.

None of this was on the discharge papers.

I remember staring at you in your car seat as I rode in the back next to you {naturally}. We unbuckled you, carried you past the blue balloons and gently placed your seat on the living room floor. In that moment, I just looked at you. What now?

I'm obviously a fan of reminiscing, but there's a point to this, I promise. Seven years later, I'm here again. I am terrified. A couple siblings and a hundred mistakes later, I am more confident in my ability as a mother, but the rate you're growing scares me. Second-grade isn't middle school, it isn't high school, and it isn't even the real world, but it's far from helpless. You have turned into an independent, compassionate, intelligent young man, and I am so proud of the success this has brought you.

However, the world is not always a good place, and you are going to learn that whether or not I keep you under my wing. It's hard, it's scary, and it's discouraging, but there is light. I have the utmost confidence you can find it, too. Unfortunately, there may be times when all you see is darkness, no matter how hard you look. This is when you have to muster the strength to become your own light. Since the day I looked into your golden eyes for the first time, I've known it's there. It shines like nothing I've ever seen.

Nathan, you are full of so much potential, and so much goodness, and you are ready for whatever crosses your path. Just because it scares me, know that I don't doubt you for a second. You are going to do amazing, incredible things. You are going to stumble and fall. And I am going to love you {and worry about you} every step of the way.

Good thing the real world is miles away, right? For now, why don't we just work on adding two-digit numbers, sleeping past 7:30 on weekends, and finally touching your toes to the moon. The world is yours, Nathan, get ready to take it.

“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations."
Isaiah 42:6

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