Things I Want My Son to Know

My boy Bug’s turn! (If you are at a loss, please read the preceding post.)

I’ve already spread most of this out over the last six years, and he’s got a pretty solid foothold on being awesome at life in general, but still. I like to repeat myself. And so, another eternally evolving list (of the male kind).

Don’t chase girls. Seriously. Don’t. Chase. Girls. The last thing I will need in my house is a girl-crazy, hormone-riddled adolescent who smells bad (thanks to Puberty) and has mood swings (again, with the hormones) and is taller than me. Instead, focus on your studies, or your sports, or getting into Harvard with a full scholarship, because Ivy Leagues don’t pay for themselves.

But really, you won’t need to be the one chasing them. Just remember to let them down easy. And please burn any and all love letters you may or may not receive from any given admirer. Trust me, there will come a day when she will ardently hope you got rid of the evidence. (No, I’m not speaking from experience. Why do you ask?)

You are great. I don’t just mean great, as in, hey, you’re pretty great. But as in, You Are Great. God created you for greatness, maybe in the lives of few, maybe in a whole world of lives. He created you for adventure, for excitement, for conquest. That you inherently and organically live and play out these imaginary scenes on the high seas or in a dangerous forest or behind enemy lines is proof enough indeed that your heart is deeply tied to that need to explore and challenge and compete and win. God fashioned you with at least one grand adventure in His plan for you.

I already know that you strive to achieve greatness, even now, as a child, whether it means getting all the answers right on your first grade worksheets, or riding your bike without training wheels, or besting your dad in a wrestling match. But I hope you will learn to be great for something, and Someone, worthy. I hope you will be brave, and maybe a little reckless, but backed by a whole wealth of wisdom. I hope you learn to lead, and to lead honorably and humbly.

Don’t be afraid of romance. One day, you will meet a girl who will make you forget your own name. I hope and pray you wait on this girl, the girl worth all of your affection and admiration and abandonment of sanity. For the past six years, I have prayed for her, prayed that God is protecting her and fashioning her and growing her, just for you. I know she will be exquisite, because God and I have already been planning the wedding. (Well, I’ve been planning the wedding; God’s been working on the marriage part.)

There’s a reason why every fairy tale features a gallant prince for an equally fair damsel. It wouldn’t be much of a story if it just involved the girl. You have to be part of this, too, and I hope you learn to be passionate and uninhibited with your love for this young woman who is fully intended to be prized. Above that, I wholeheartedly pray that you will try daily to be the man she falls in love with, years and years after you first meet, that you will make her feel pursued and treasured the way God whispers to her innermost heart. I hope, while you whittle out this grand adventure, that you are continuously inviting her along, to live the adventure by your side.

God knows best. And so does your mother. So let me give you a hug and a kiss whenever I want to, even if it means stopping in mid-karate-chop. You can bounce off the walls later. I only ask for a hug and a kiss when I absolutely need one. Remember that.

Remember, too, that God called you, and you answered. I have the luxury of seeing you, at six years old, safely in the palm of God’s hand. I get the unspoken pleasure of watching you learn and thirst after the Lord, eagerly drinking in every story, every verse, describing our glorious God. I hope and I pray with an earnest heart, that you continue down this path, that you never fully satiate that hunger this side of Heaven. Even today, at six years old, you are constantly teaching me of the Lord’s grace and warmth and interest in our little lives. I hope you always remember, no matter how feebly you might remember from time to time, that God had His sights on you from the start, and that you trusted Him at least once. I hope that you know you can only be your greatest if God is your rock. And I want you to know that one day, you will lead others, whether it be your family, or people within your job, or maybe even other followers of Christ. Make sure the path you lead them down is heading toward a divine place.

I love you. More than life. You are tremendous, and hand-stitched by One with perfect foresight. God was deliberate enough to pick out only the very best parts of me and your dad, and weave them into even better pieces that are all your own. You are my firstborn, my reward despite my disobedience, my identity and my purpose. You make me swell to immeasurable heights with pride, you sometimes frustrate me because I know you are capable of near-perfection, you bring me to tears because you are becoming quite the impressive young man.

I consider myself beyond undeserving to be your mother, to be the woman you loved first, the woman you, even now, at a wee six years old, try to constantly encourage and protect, even if it is just from Dad’s snide remarks or unfair tickling wars. (They’re unfair because he’s bigger than me.) I love you in a severe and unspeakable kind of way, and know that I count myself the lucky one.

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