With everything I’ve been experiencing professionally in recent weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my life personally, and more specifically, about what I hope to teach my own children about life and how to treat others. So thanks to Momastery for the letter idea and my dear friend S. for the words of wisdom during a recent email exchange about the kinds of boys we hope to raise…
To My Dear Harrison,
As your mama, I have great expectations for you. How could I not? I see the amazing and wonderful accomplishments you make each and every day and my heart soars with the idea of your potential. Your wheels are turning all the time (both in your mind and on your feet). You feel so many emotions to such great extents. You create and play and sing. You remind me constantly that there is so much in this life to see and do and be.
As your mama, I want you to be all you, all the time because life without you as you just wouldn’t be enough. It would be too slow. Too quiet. Too lacking in HD-ness. I just now realized that we’ve been calling you HD from Day One (or maybe Two or Five) as a nickname for Harrison David, but you really are my High Definition Man, too, and I love it. Sweetheart, I wouldn’t have you any other way!
As your mama, I of course hope that these expectations and dreams for you will not pressure or crush you – now or ever. Really, all I ask is that you be in this world in such a way that is true to you and to others. That’s all. I want you to embrace what makes you special and what makes you smile. I also want you to embrace what makes other people special and what makes them smile. Well, maybe not embrace 100% of it 100% of the time, but at least accept, tolerate, allow, encourage, etc. all that you meet. I know you can do it, Boo. You have a big brain and an even bigger heart, which will serve you well as you grow.
As your mama, I want you to know that growing up to be a man isn’t going to be fast or easy. It also isn’t something to which I’ll really be able to relate. I promise, though, that I’ll try my best to understand your boyhood and your teenage years and your guyness and your eventual evolution into grown man. I also promise that I will do whatever I can to help you become a man who knows how to treat women (and men for that matter) with respect. Fortunately you have wonderful examples of what this kind of man looks like thanks to the men in our family. May you continue and expand these lessons so that you know, in every situation, what it means to be polite, appropriate, and aware.
As your mama, I want you to remember that we all matter. Honey, everyone you meet in this crazy beautiful world will have the potential to impact you. Remember that you will have the same potential for them, so be thoughtful and gentle in your approach. It will be your choices, your actions, and your responses that determine your roles in life. Be a man of substance but remember that substance can be found in even the smallest acts of kindness and gratitude. You do not have to put on a big show to be a big man.
As your mama, Harrison, I am blessed. I can already see that the lights in your eyes are so bright; you will find ways out of even the darkest of times. Share that light, Honey. Share it with those you love and with those who lack love. Share it so that others may learn from all that you think and feel and do. I know, from experience, that you have the power to make a person’s heart and mind grow; thanks for that, Love!
With Much Love Always,