I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve decided that we can’t be friends.
It’s not me. It’s you.
You help me understand why some animals eat their young.
When you were born you were exceptionally adorable, far surpassing the adorableness of the other babies born that day. I'm sure the other mothers looked at their newborns that day with great disappointment. You were such a good baby. You took long naps so that I could get a break, you slept all night in your own bed. You ate anything, which made me feel superior to the other moms complaining about their picky eaters. You were independent and had a desire to do things on your own. You took crap from no one, even as a toddler. When you saw the sweet old man from Church, you would go up to him and ask him "Hi, Grandpa, where's Grandma", which would make him cry because he would remember his sweetheart in Heaven. You had a way with the older generation...you loved them. You were pretty perfect, actually. I had high hopes for you.
Now you are a teenager, and at only 16 years old, you are equipped with a supermodel body, killer eyelashes and good looks to boot. You draw attention of the younger girls because you don’t look a day younger than 18.
You are still very strong willed, funny, smart, and creative. You still are very opinionated. However, none of this is why we can’t be friends.
You have turned from a fun loving, active boy who loved stuffed animals, long walks with mom, and any kind of doggie, into a hormonal, irrational, emotional teenager. I have to strategize how I’m going to approach you about topics I fear may set you off, like trying to tell you that you have to turn in your phone after 6 pm, so that we can have family time or watch a fun movie after dinner. You may have inherited that trait. You bounce back and forth from being a child to being a fun loving, energetic teenager to being an immature adult. This is why we can’t be friends. People have warned me about this teenager thing, but I didn’t believe them….not my baby. Turns out they were on to something.
We can’t be friends because you need my help to survive your teen years and become an adult who people don’t avoid at parties.
Right now you don’t really need the huge Christmas stocking filled with beanie babies and toys. You need a mom.
When we argue because you have decided to wear your new short sleeved shirt and straight leg pants with lightweight shoes, on a day in early November without a coat, I am reminded that while you may not like me, you need me. Literally, need me to save you from freezing and catching pneumonia, while waiting for the bus.
When you roll your eyes at me, flip me off, and mumble something hateful under your breath as you walk out of the room because I won’t allow you to drive the car for good reasons, or I tell you that you've played enough of your games....I can see your innocence and how short sighted you are right now. You don't see all the life altering consequences that can come from it, but I can... so I’m willing to let you treat me like I’m the one being unrealistic in the matter.
When we are watching a movie and you come to sit on my lap to curl up those long legs into a little ball, so you can nuzzle your head into my chest, I’m yet again reminded that even though you are getting closer to being grown, you are still a child. You need me.
Let’s be honest. You have friends. I have friends. We don’t need to be each other’s friend right now.
I make you insane with all my dumb rules and frankly you aren’t always a peach to live with either.
Never mistake my determination that we can’t be friends, as a lack of love.
I’ve prayed for you since the moment I discovered I was pregnant. Every day. My prayers have shifted as life has shifted. I used to pray that you would sleep well at night in your crib. I prayed that your diaper rash would clear up. I prayed that you wouldn’t get too hysterical over the fact that I bought you a burrito at Taco Bell, instead of a Taco. I prayed for your self-esteem as you went through that awkward phase of pimples, and having to live in a house that is not as fancy as your friends. I prayed deeply that you would KNOW that I loved you, missed you terribly, and had NOT abandoned you... when you had to live with Gramps for a few years until I was able to have you live with me.
I prayed that your 1st year of high school in a Country school (that was far too easy for your high intelligence when you seemed to deserve better) would be OK... so that other parts of you would develop too.
Daily, I pray for your health, your safety, that you will make wise decisions and that you won’t get involved with the wrong crowd.
I pray that as you now enter to those dating years that you will easily spot the virtuous girls, when you see one. I pray that you will find a balance between confidence and humility.
It’s hard for you to understand and I don’t expect that you will ever fully understand until you have children of your own how deep my love is for you. You are the best part of me and your Step-dad.
(and maybe someday even to your dad, Bernd)
You and your brothers are the beat in our hearts. When you hurt, we hurt. It’s our job to raise you to be an adult who is kind, responsible, respects himself and shows respect to others.
We want to send you out into the world as ready as you can be... for what life will throw at you. We want you to be fierce and strong.
As it turns out, to fulfill that mission, this love I have for you is not well received all the time. It sucks and I wish it wasn’t that way, but I have hope it won’t last forever. It’s okay that you don’t always like me or think I’m cool.
So when you yell at me to come into the bathroom to blow your front bangs up in the mornings, and then complain about how it looks afterwards, ask me to wash your 'clean' clothes, tell me to make dinner, only to tell me that my dinners 'suck' and that is why you never eat them, then on the way to school remind me of a 3 page form I need to complete before I drop you off at school or you won’t be able to attend something I knew nothing about, I will take a deep breath and do it.
Because I love you.
Also because I have been praying to God that you will have a son exactly like you one day. That, in itself, will be the reward I need to make this all worth it.
I hope you understand. Don’t take it personally.
P.S. Be sure NOT to wash your 'red' pants with your whites, while doing your own laundry from now on ☺ xo