Well, this is my 3rd letters for you. I write this because sometimes being a mom can seem daunting, and at times i fail to say what i mean or do what i say. Hehehe…
First of all, i want u to know, me and ended love you very much and we could’nt be prouder of you. We are not perfect parents, but we will do our best to help u make your way through these difficult growing-up years and prepare for the future.
I have been thinking VERY HARD about how your little world is about to change. For three and a half years, our eyes have been on you, every morning, every evening, overnight, checking your needs, wiping every tear and cuddling on the bed.
(God, how did that time pass so quickly???) Now u’ll be going from being our little boy to our big boy. So, i want you to understand, why i –sometimes- did things differently. Yeah, especially when u look around and see how other moms raised their sons.
You are very brave and curious, and are beginning to realize that these qualities are not accidents. So, i wanna explain why, because it will help you understand the way u are.
I let you learn hard lessons. Yes, me. Hmmppff..
You wanted to walk barefoot to the park through piles of stones and wet soil, so i tucked your shoes in my bag and said “Let’s go.” I let you did that, until u grimacing in pain. The i pulled out your shoes and slipped them on. You discovered that stones and soil, however uncomfortable, will not kill you. You also learned that shoes, is a good thing.
I allowed you to test your limits. When we swim together, you fought, and failed, but not really. We paddled, side by side, determined to try and try again until we owned the pool, or the sea. I always there to cheer you up, and to challenge you. Someday, bib, someday we will catch the giant storm-driven wave. We will climb up the highest mountain. Because i always believe in you.
I taught you how to punch. Not because u should grow up fighting, but because, if ever forced u, u should know how. Now u’re not yet ready to know what some people do to each other, but i want u to be prepared. U will grow stronger every day, and the moment will come when u will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
I taught u to respect nature, to hunt and to fish. Not for the sake of killing, but becausethe surest way to honor the living earth is to be part of it. U dug for worms and baited ur own hooks, and most of the time we cooked what we caught. I took you to the farms, u learn how to raised chickens and loved them, and ate the eggs they laid and offered thanks. Just like miss temple grandin did. We just have got to do it right. We’ve got to give those animals a decent life and we’ve got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect. You love the world that sustains us, and u understand that meat does not grow on grocery store shelves inside plastic wrapping.
I have nurtured your curiosity. When we found the spider under our orange tree with the red hourglass on her belly, we did not kill her. We watched, night after night, as she tended her web and waited patiently. We read books about her, and told jokes about how she ate her boyfriends for lunch. And when she finally caught a beetle, we watched her strike and wrap it tight with silk. You found that the things which scare most children have the most to teach us.
I taught you these things, because one day I will let you go. You will walk down a long aisle to start another life and another family. You will be perfect and gorgeous. But no one will mistake that for fragility. You will fight for others, while seeking new wonders. You will run barefoot through stones, while exalting all of creation. You will live life to its fullest, testing your own limits while obliterating those set by others.
Looking back at my own childhood I’ve come to realize that even back then I already had the attributes of a leader. This was not because I was special in any way, but rather through the attitude I had towards life. All children have this within them. Without any learning and studying, all children are born with empathy, creativity, unreason, curiosity and an eagerness to explore new and ever-changing worlds. In today’s management and leadership language we call it “emotional intelligence,” “innovation strategies,” “lifelong learning” or “blue oceans” – and we pay dearly for regaining them later in life.
So, dear son, what took me 31 years to realize is – becoming a leader is to stay a child. I had to unlearn many things to reveal my buried childhood abilities. That is not to say you shouldn’t learn, i am your mother, i am your teacher and i will make sure you learn! I will rather encourage you to nurture your natural childhood leadership so that you may carry this over into your adult life.
Until then, be proud of who you are. Be happy and just remember to have fun!
Because i know, u won’t remember all the times i went to bed at night and felt such fear being your mother: Am I doing okay? Have I messed up too many times already? Can I be the kind of mother he needs?
You won’t remember the way my heart broke and grew a little bigger each time you passed a milestone, watching the sand fall through the hourglass while feeling overjoyed witnessing you expand and grow.
You won’t remember the way I would hold your little feet in my hands, imagining how much bigger than my own feet they will one day grow, and how I will have to let you go.
You won’t remember, but I will… and I’ll hold these memories in my heart for the both of us.
You rock my world, Langit, and will be holding your hand in mine to take the big jump forward to every new steps.