My beautiful son, you turn 13 in just a few short weeks.
As you make your journey into becoming a man, you will experience much change in both yourself and our relationship as we redefine our boundaries. But right now, I want to express my gratitude for the relationship we share.
Your being has brought a rich tapestry to my life I could not have imagined; It has given me some of the most wonderful experiences and lessons. Before this time passes, I would like to share these with you.
The first lesson happened even before you were born and that probably is the most important. So that is where I will start:
As soon as I felt your heartbeat, I knew you were very special. To have been entrusted with such a wonderful gift, I realized that I too, must be very special. It was then I started to treat myself with love and compassion. This led to many difficult decisions as my life started to align with my new-found beliefs. And each time I faced one of these difficult decisions I would ponder the advice I would give you if you were in the same situation. Then I would follow through on this advice as I knew it came from a place of love. This was not easy as “change” is not always possible without great pain.
It has led me to a path of truth and honesty and a place of greater happiness
Love for all beings.
I remember when we had a rather large trail of ants coming into our home. They marched in there in hundreds. I had decided to use an ant powder to get rid of them. You realized this would mean the death of the ants and began to make a sugar trail leading the ants away from our home and back to safety. I remember the day you decided you really could not eat meat anymore with a clear conscience. “ Mum, I just feel bad in my heart when I eat animals.” Then, together, we began our life as vegetarians.
We had spent many months, at your insistence, giving as much small change as possible to every person without a home, every busker on the street and every street performer. We would even go into shops that looked like they were struggling to get customers and buy a little something. When I finally said, “honey we cannot give to everyone,” you said, “okay, we will stop but just after we have given to this one last person.” Of course it was never the last person…..
To this day, we continue to give.
Do not interfere in the journey of others as they have all the wisdom they need inside to find their path.
There have been times when I have seen your tears as you have been on the receiving end of bullying and mean comments. I have wanted to keep you home and protect you from the things that have hurt you. I have wanted to go and find the perpetrators and make them see the pain they had caused.
But something held me back.
As I watched and waited, I saw you work it through. You found your own way of dealing with the situation. You used your intelligence, your humor and, in one case, a rather punchy right hook. And then the sadness and hurt passed. You were stronger and you shone brighter as you learnt what you needed to grow from each experience.
Forgive more easily and see the best in people.
I see you playing with the same people who caused you so much hurt and I ask crossly, “why, isn’t that the child who was mean to you?” You say, “yes, but you know he said sorry and I believe him. And do you know the most surprising thing? He is kind of nice when you get to know him. I really do not think he ever meant to hurt me.”
Never see limits.
Your ambitions when you grow up are: To be a surfer, to open a home for those in need, to travel the world, to be a ski instructor and when you have done all these you will be a guitarist and rock star…. You see no limits, only potential.
Life is more fun when we are ourselves.
You had been moody for a while and you would not share what was wrong. Then one day you came home beaming like the sun. I asked what had happened. You answered:
I had been hanging out with the cool kids and you know I thought it was what I wanted but it did not make me happy. I could not run and play and I could not tell jokes. Well today, I decided to just be myself. I was silly and I told awful jokes. And I laughed a lot today. I might only ever have a few friends but that is fine as long as I can be myself. Life is better that way.
Look for inspiration in others.
The first time you experienced racism it turned your world upside down; I do not think you realized how mean people could be. You did not know how to respond. There were many tearful and anxious nights. Then you started to read about others who had been through the same thing. You read the words of Mohammad Ali and the words of Martin Luther King. You listened to the lyrics of Bob Marley. You laughed at the jokes of black comedians as they ridiculed racist behavior. They gave you the tools you needed to deal with the situation. They gave you the inspiration and you found a better way to deal with racism; a way that will stand you in good steed a you grown into a man.
When I first became acquainted with you, I felt such powerful emotions that I struggled to process them. I felt a love so expansive and I knew in that moment my love for you would never waver; it would never change.
My love will never leave you; it will never falter.
You can depend on it always.
In experiencing this love I am a better person. I am a stronger person. I am the being I was born to be. In this love I am pure, without fault. I see this is what we are here to experience; the feeling of absolute connection and love.
When I look at you I marvel at your perfection and your greatness; I then I see my own perfection and greatness reflected back at me.
So, my dear son, as you come to your thirteenth year, I thank you for our time together; and with gratitude in my heart, I bow my head and to you I say, “Namaste.”
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Assist Ed.: Stephanie Sefton/Ed: Sara Crolick