Next week my son will be starting high school for the first time. As part of the orientation tonight, parents are strongly encouraged to write a letter to their child to read upon graduation. I wanted to share my letter with you:
To my only son as you graduate,
I remember the day you were born. Your little cowlicks promised wild curls that would be untamable. You were a mama’s boy, I thought for awhile that you would never grow up, never want to leave. We would sit for hours reading stories of monkeys stealing caps, the adventures of toad and frog, or about the puddle ducks and Peter Rabbit. Then one day we put the kids books away.
Remember when you used to suck your fingers? We tried everything to get you to stop. We tried putting a mitten on your hand at night and the spicy varnish which you exclaimed to like spicy foods. Then one day, you decided that you were too old to suck your fingers and stopped on your own.
Then you got older still. You told your dad and I that you no longer believe the things that we believe. You said you needed to figure things out on your own. Even though we worried, we knew that you needed to find your own way in life. I sometimes fear that the road you walk will be rocky, but sometimes even the “Rocky Road” can be sweet. Once you find your place, I know that you will stand up for what you believe even if you are standing alone. That stubbornness and conviction is something I’ve always admired in you.
Earlier this week, you told me that you really didn’t want to be with me anymore, that you wanted to hang out with your friends. For a minute, I wanted that little boy back. As much as I want to hold you tight, I know that I have to start untying the strings that have you fastened to my heart. I have to start letting you go. I hope and pray that you find the right path to start your journey on. No matter what happens, your dad and I will always love you.