When you were born, I hoped for you to be healthy. I hoped you had 10 fingers and 10 toes. I hoped you weren’t colicky and that someday you and your siblings would be the best of friends.
When you went off to daycare, I hoped that the caretaker would love you as much as I loved you. I hoped that you’d make your first friends. I hoped that you’d learn that even though I left you for a moment, I’d always return.
When you were in Little League, I hoped that you’d learn the art of fair play, of gracious losing, and graceful winning. I hoped that that metal bat would “clang” with the force of your swinging arms and hit it over the fence never to be seen again. I hoped that you’d have self-confidence even though you may have thrown 5 or 6 or 17 balls in a row as pitcher and that you’d be humble if you threw as many strikes.
In school, I hoped for you to have kind and understanding teachers who learned about who you were and what you needed to feel safe. I hoped that reading, writing and arithmetic would come easily and that even if they didn’t, I hoped beyond all hope that you’d understand that that didn’t in any way mean that you weren’t smart, capable and wise. I hoped that you’d realize that fun was necessary but that someday it wouldn’t be the only thing that would get you to where you wanted to be. I hoped, when you were in school, that you’d dream of your future and be inspired to chase it because you deserved a good and wonderful life.
Today...my hopes are less specific but seemingly more urgent.
Now...well now...I hope that you will be good to yourself. Not in the way that satisfies your wants and your physical needs, but in a way that says you care deeply for yourself. I hope that someday, you will see all my meddling, pleading, letter writing, rah-rah texts and refusal to expect anything less than the best for you as love...pure...deep...unconditional love. I hope that you take the chances that are given to you. I hope you see them as the gifts they are and revel in the fact that everyday is a new chance to get it right.
Most of all, I hope you remember. I hope you remember the cuddles, and the hugs, and the kisses. I hope you remember the sick days and the kindnesses you received. I hope you remember the trips and traditions and trials that made us a family. I hope you remember that in your life, you’ve always had someone who wouldn’t waiver when it came to right and wrong no matter what the consequences may have been because you deserved a parent that set boundaries and tolerated nothing less than the world at large would tolerate from you or anyone else. I hope you know how sorry I am for the mistakes I have made while parenting you.
Finally, I hope...oh my dear sweet child...I hope that you know in every essence and fiber of you that no matter how you feel about me, no matter where you are, or what you do...no matter...I will never--ever--stop loving you deeply, thoroughly and completely.
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