Dear strong-willed child,
Today we had many battles, you and I. We had battles in the sun, battles in the sand, battles over popsicles and a battle while I walked you screaming and kicking back to the house. You were red and fuming, I fought back tears. We’ve had thousands of battles, you and I.
Today our battles were about little kid things, someday they might be about curfew or boys or doing the dishes.
No matter what, here’s what I want you to know:
We are not defined by these battles. We are not defined by the storms, we are defined by the times I hold you tight and by every time we say “I love you” and the kisses that follow. We aren’t defined by hard days or hard moments, we are defined by the fact that I love you and I will never stop. We are defined by the truth that I will never ever give up on or grow tired of you. You are mine forever and for always.
During those moments, though they’re hard and unnerving, there’s no where I’d rather be.
Yes, sometimes inside I’m fuming. I wonder how it is possible we’ve done this this so many times before. I’m embarrassed, I’m tired and I wonder if I were better at being your mom if we wouldn’t have blow ups like this.
Sometimes I simply wilt under the disapproving glances of strangers.
In my heart though? I’d do it all a million times again, my dear. I’d carry you up a hundred more flights of stairs while you’re kicking and screaming and I’d abandon a thousand more carts in Target to take you to the car.
I choose you, in all your sweaty, screaming, kicking, fuming, glory.
A lot of the time I’m stuck in now, I just want you to hold my hand to cross the street and say “OK, Mama” when I say “no.” Sometimes I’m simply too tired and worn out to remember my joy, but I look at you now perched on the counter eating a slice a bread and I smile.
I like you; I like your strong will.
You aren’t the kind to be deterred by one or a million consequences. Your voice is vibrant and sometimes I believe it really can’t be swallowed. That’s OK. Someday you will channel that strength into something that matters deeply to your heart.
We have all the time in the world to figure that out.
Some people might call you hard or difficult. I do, too, sometimes. Some people might wonder where I find my grace every day... But they don’t see what I see. They don’t know that out of sea of well-behaved children I’d choose you again and again and again.
After a tantrum, I hold you. We snuggle in your bed and you ask me to sing a song. I breathe deep because you smell like sunshine. You’re worth every single battle today, and every single one tomorrow.
I love you.