Dear Son or Daughter,
I offer you room to explore. I trust that in raising you to be an independent soul who is invited to know that God is always with you, you will wrestle. Wrestle on. Ask the big and minute questions. Shake up the boxes – the ones your dad and I, the church, your external influences hand you- shake them and notice. What falls to the ground? What stays strong?
Ask all the questions. Your curious “whys” don’t scare me. How else are you to have room to wonder, investigate, pray and wait? Asking grows you deeper into who you are meant to be. Please, don’t let me get in the way.
Seek truth; not only from what you are told, but in where you experience peace and love. This is the Divine’s ongoing invitation and it will include suffering, failure, heartache, loss, grief, sadness, as well as utter delight and carefree play. I will do my best to not control or interfere with your journey. I will, however, aim to guide, listen, and be here every step, knowing God is with you in deeper, unexplainable ways.
I apologize ahead of time for when my anxiety at your choices causes tension in our relationship. My heart is to help, but in my human mama bear way, this is the first time I’ve parented a jr. higher, a future high schooler. I’ve no clue what I’m doing and I’ll do it wrong often. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a train wreck in slow motion and recognize how out of control and controlling I am. Forgive me when my crazy-making anxiety wants to shortcut your process. This is necessary and good. I’d rather be here to love you in company than have you feel alone in your grief. You are never alone.
I pray for freedom. Freedom to fly, to nosedive and bomb, to lay there for however long necessary for healing’s slow work to occur. Your capacity for compassion will meet others at the level with which you let yourself be humbled. Find strength in the One who tethers you and at the same time offers abundant skies to soar. Soar without feeling like you have to carry any of us; we’re good. There’s no expectation on our behalf for you to be anyone other than YOU.
Permission to think, feel, and journey every step with complete empowerment. How are you to know what you are to know without exploring your interior, your exterior, the world?
Let life be a feast. Journey with self-control, eyes wide open, and ears listening to what causes children to pause and laugh.
Go now. Make your way along and as you do, our door, my arms, and my heart are open. I promise to learn from you; just as life is teaching me how little I really know. Anything in this universe – apart from finding delight in receiving and offering a Love that can not be earned – is frosting.
May you cultivate beauty, plant seeds, and gather trust stories wherever your feet take you.
I offer you room to explore.
Love you so!
* This post is inspired by a conversation with a kindred soul (who happens to be a therapist) surrounding how kids (specifically 12-18) are struggling with roles + identity.
Dear Son or Daughter,