An Open Letter To My Son
It’s been pretty intense around here, with all the soul cleansing and growth, the changes inside and out. Like finding seashells along the shifting tides, I was too wrapped up in my discoveries to see the signs.
Still, I knew something was off. I felt the shift in his manner, his voice, and the way he looked (or rather the way he didn’t look) at me. The realization hit me like a 2 x 4 yesterday morning and gave me a raging headache. I couldn’t let this sit and stew. I had to do damage control – and fast.
I woke up this morning and felt really, really awful. Sick, but not physically. It was more like my heart and soul had collapsed. I didn’t have it in me to get out of bed, and for me, that’s pretty bad.
I panicked because I realized I had forgotten something very, very important. What made this oversight even worse, was that I couldn’t remember how long ago that I had begun to forget.
Sometime between the ages of 15 and 16, I would guess. Maybe even before then. Perhaps it was it when you started with the teen-tude or buried yourself under texting and Facebook. Maybe it was when you started rolling your eyes or put your emotions on permanent lockdown when I went off on my “informative lectures.”
My love started to fall under the guise of teaching you the “rights” and “wrongs” of life and somehow I made you feel less than the perfect person you are. You did things your way, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted more from you, but I didn’t take into account that you had your own issues to process – issues you came into this world with, along with the normal, everyday teenager stuff.
The only difference between the issues you and I are processing is that yours are new and mine are old. Yeah. Mine go waaaay back, but I’ve been flinging them at you when something set me off, and I didn’t realize that until just now. I reacted with anger when you showed me lack of respect. Feelings of worthlessness screamed when you ignored me when I talked. I felt inadequate when, even though I gave you 200%, you complained about it and still wanted more. That’s all recycled stuff from a different decade, bleeding from my past into your present.
Whether intentional or not, I had ignored the distinct sound of disconnection when you tuned me out. I fought hard to pull you close when you fought hard to push me away.
During that battle for control, I believe that is when I forgot to show you that I love you. As a writer, I should know this one. I could tell you I love you until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t have the same impact unless I put action in place of those words. When you stand four inches taller than me, I see the man you are becoming, but forget that you still respond better to hugs than to words.
Today you take your pretest in Tang Soo Do, and after that you are only a few months away from your black belt. You could never have gotten this far had you not been determined, focused, and talented. You are a force to be reckoned with, and I couldn’t be prouder of you.
So now I will start once again to build the bridge between us. I’ll teach my lessons through examples and laugh a heck of a lot more. I’ll be sure to draw the line between my issues and yours. I’ll untie the cord around your waist and give you room to stretch your wings. Not that this gives you a carte blanche to do whatever you want, but this will allow you express yourself and be who you need to be without my issues holding you down.
I hope that by letting you go, you’ll find your way back to me.
And I promise…I’ll remember to never forget.
Your biggest fan,
Posted on August 26, 2011, in Family, Personal, Relationships, Teenager and tagged attitude, black belt, control, Diana Murdock, Diana Murdock's blog, growing up, letter, love, teenager, wings Tang Soo Do. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.