I’ve had the privilege of being a mother for 16 years and it’s been the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. My goal from the beginning was to raise these little humans to be the best they could be in all facets of their lives, foster their interests, and love them like no other. I wanted to be firm but nurturing. Fun but not a friend. I’ve learned over the years, being a mother is an absolute balancing act and I would do it over and over again with these two. Here are letters I’ve written to my littlest loves in my head many times. Although I’m constantly adding to it, I thought I’d put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) just in time for Mother’s Day 2019.
My Handsome Son,
When you were born, you didn’t come with any instructions, but all I know is I’ve loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you. I took pride in that title MOTHER and the fact that you were MY SON! You gave me a reason to work hard and achieve my dreams. And now, I get to have a front-row seat while you achieve yours. You have grown into a young man of whom I’m extremely proud.
It’s like I closed my eyes for a moment and my baby boy was as tall as me with this voice change and manly features. You won’t remember all of the times I almost killed myself stepping on hot wheel cars, but I do. You won’t remember the nights I sat next to your toddler bed and rubbed your back until you fell asleep, but I do. You probably don’t remember all of the silly ways you made me laugh, but I do. You don’t remember all of the times your bright eyes looked at me in admiration, but I do, and I’ll always hold these memories in my heart.
I haven’t always gotten it right, but I always made sure you knew you were loved. And look at us now! We’re making tons of new memories. You’re driving. You’ve had a first date. I look forward to every basketball game because I’m your #1 fan. College. Lawd, College is coming up!!! The place where you’ll discover more of yourself. And while I won’t physically be there, I’ll be there in spirit and whenever you need me. That’s why I’ve always taught you to do everything with excellence. Be kind to people. Work hard. Be a gentleman. Do things correctly the FIRST time. Pay attention to detail. Express yourself respectfully and communicate your feelings and emotions. Be a leader and not a follower and now there are consequences for every action. Never have to much pride to ask for help. Always count your blessings.
And now, my hope is that you will also help us pass these lessons along to your sister. I love the bond that you are developing with her. She loves her big brother (Bubba) and her eyes light up when you enter the room. I pray that you are someone she can look to for protection and safety. A playmate (sort of) and a confidant. As we embark on this next phase of your life, know that you’ll have these little eyes looking at you and your mama too, because I know you’ll be the coolest, most beautiful dude in the room. I may not carry you in my arms, but I will always carry you in my heart. You are loved for the boy you are, the man you will become, and the son you will always be.
To my amazing little girl. My ladybug who lights up every room she enters with that million dollar smile (as dad calls it). We planned for you and from the very beginnning, we knew you would bring us so much joy and light. It’s only been 17 months, but it seems like yesterday you entered the world weighing in at 10 pounds. Imagine my disbelief. I was was shocked and inspired. You inspire me to be a better woman, a stronger person, a better mom. I’m a lot older and I’ve learned a few more life lessons. You are the happiest little girl I know and I hope that never fades. You won’t remember how I counted your little fingers and toes when you were born, but I will. I want our tickle-fests and snuggles to continue to be epic. I want us to continue to make up songs for everything. I get some much joy in watching you learn and experience new things.
You probably won’t remember how big my smile is when that happens, but I will. As your mother, I hope you always find comfort in me. I know you’ll grow up and face challenges. There will be tears shed and life will make you angry and sad (I probably will, too, because I’m your parent and not your friend. But you’ll live and be better for it.) However, I hope the bond we develop will remind you that I’m ALWAYS here. I want to nurture you into a courageous, respectful, beautiful young woman who knows that she can conquer the world.
As we take this journey together, I pray that you Dare to be your best self, Answer your heart’s desires, Unlock the dreams within you, Grace the world with your talents, Have faith in your own strength, Take risks, Embrace your uniqueness, and Recognize how amazing you are. You are my DAUGHTER, and I can’t wait for the world to experience the magic I get to see and love every single day.
Photos :: Toya Michelle
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fabulous mommies, bonus moms, & godmothers!