Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dear Parker,

There are a couple things that happened this week that I wanted to write down and remember.

First, I actually got around to sewing on you new Pack numbers and other patches onto your tan scout uniform.  You have had the damned thing for a year now and I have been too lazy to sew on the patches!  And yes, I said damned.  Well, on Sunday, we had our laziest day in the history of lazy days and I actually got you Pack numbers AND your counsel patch on there!  (since Sunday I have added you Webelos patch - look at me go!)  For you Den meeting that night, you wore your tan uniform for the first time........I have to pause here because all of the emotion I felt as soon as you were all buttoned up and tucked in is rushing back to me.  Wow.  What a difference between your blue and tan uniform shirts.  Along with your hair cut from the day prior, I wasn't looking at my 10 year old but instead at my young man.  You looked so good.  And older, and wiser, and more mature, and respectful, and proud.  Boy Scouts is literally around the corner.  You are about 4 requirements from finishing your Arrow of Light.  I cannot believe Cub Scouts is almost at a close in your life.  How quickly the 5 years has passed and how exciting the scouting adventure has been!  You are about 5 years away from you goal of making Eagle Scout (5 years of hard and dedicated work).  It was funny, we were flipping through your Webelos book and I reminded you that once you bridge, I will not be the one reminding you to complete your requirements but I will help you get organized.  To which you replied, "Oh thank goodness!  And really?! You are going to help me be organized?" said with a slight eye roll.  Yes, yes, yes, I know.....you are very organized. *deep sigh*

Second, Monday night at bed time you got mad.  You thought it was Sunday (you had a 4 day weekend) and when the bubble of Monday was burst, you let it get the best of you for a bit.  You were sent upstairs earlier than usual to get a jump on your bedtime routine and because of your over reaction to the news of Monday.  At one point you came downstairs and hugged me from behind while I was washing dishes.  I looked at you and asked what was wrong, your eyes were red and it was obvious you had been crying.  You thought I was mad at you, backed away, and went back upstairs.  Later, I came up.  You were still upset.  Without prompting or asking you turned to me (you were facing your Star poster from daycare) and said, "Mom, (or Mommy-I can't remember now), I'm sorry I got so mad earlier.  I was mad and then looking at all my pictures, I realized how much you have always done for me during my life.  How much you have always given me.  I'm sorry I was mad and I love you."  Rip my heart out and fill my eyes with tears.

My darling boy, you have no idea how perceptive and wise you are for your age.  I know I have told you but I know you will never understand completely what I mean.  You are able to see outside your own perspective.  Some people never learn or care to learn about a world outside their own.  Some people will read books on shifting their paradigm and go to seminars to learn how to complete that shift.  You are able to already.  I don't know you are aware that you are doing it and I hope that I embrace you openness to only be better at it.  Hold on that part of your self.  Hold on to it forever.  It will help you understand the person sitting next to you better or the person you meet at the market or on the bus or at school or when you travel to Chile to see the largest waterfall in the world.  You won't always look outside your perspective because it is just as important to know how and where you view the world from, but always practice setting yours aside and picking up someone else's.

I love you even though I do believe we have over exhausted "family" time this week (home all weekend, off on Monday, and snow day to day),

You amaze me regularly.  Never stop being who you are.

xoxo,
Mom

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Dear Parker,

I haven't written to you in a long while.  I apologize for the gap in my letters. At some time between June 2014 and January 2016, we got really busy.  Life will do that to you, as you will learn.  The everyday takes over and you breeze over moments that turn into years.  Try not to do that too much when you are an adult and have children.  The moments are the parts you will remember the most but they are also the easiest to forget.  You will have to deal with your own life and your own relationships when you have your own children one day, and that will take away from remembering the small moments.  You will simply have other stuff on your mind sometimes and realize that you can't remember everything you want to as a parent.  That is ok.  When it happens, it wont make you a bad parent or person, you just have to pull your self back to the moment at some point.  Learning to do that takes awareness.  Learning how to meditate can really help you learn awareness and how to stay in a moment.  You should try meditating.

I am traditionally bad at New Year's Resolutions, but this year, I am going to try to be in the moment more.  I am going to try to not let work or anything else get in the way of our life at home.  You are going up too fast.  You are going to need to stop doing that for me.  Maybe even go back in time and be a 3 year old for a day again.

I will write to you more often.  I really need to.  You have grown so much over the past year - physically, emotionally, mentally, and personally; I need to chronicle it for you.

You make me proud everyday and I love more than any words could ever express.

Love you,
Mom

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dear Parker,

You have finished 3rd!  You have passed the "4th Grade Promotion" tests.  You are in!  You are moving up!  You are making a big transition this year.  The past three years you have had the same (amazing) teacher.  Now you will have a new teacher for the next three years.  Montessori is neat and different in that way.  You have had a challenging school year in 3rd grade.  There have been ups and downs, but we finally figured out what was the solution for you to be successful and as soon as we did, you took off with success!  Last quarter you were one grade shy of straight As!!  The first thing you said to me when those grades came out was, "Mom, you owe me $21."  Me and my motivational tool at the beginning of the year.....$3 per A on the quarter report cards.  To be honest kiddo, I wouldn't want to give you money in any other way than for your good grades.  You have worked so hard this year and overcome so much, I am really proud.

We are headed into summer break which means a lot of time with Grandpa and at camp.  This summer is a special one though, coming up before your birthday is our date at court to get your last name changed.  I am getting more and more excited about it the closer it gets!  I know that you want this and you have for years now, but I can tell you are concerned that this is the last opportunity for you to possibly see your dad.  One day you will see that it wasn't the end.  And one day you will understand that this court system has nothing to do with the one that determines if a parent sees their child or not.  It is too confusing and technical right now.  And not just because you are a kid.....it is confusing to everyone.  One day, when you are not a kid, I will explain it to you in better detail.  I promise.

Until then, you enjoy being a kid.  It isn't going to last that much longer!  You have a fun summer ahead of you starting with motorcycle races with Grandpa.  We have your birthday celebration coming up and so much more.  I am so proud of all your hard work this school year.  Fourth grade will bring it's own challenges for you, but I really think that since you survived 3rd grade, it will all be cake after this.

You are loved so deeply.

Love,
Mom

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dear Parker,

I found this in my notes the other day while clearing out stuff on my phone.  I remember writing it, but I don't remember for what purpose.  Who knows, maybe I already posted it here for you.  Regardless if I am repeating my self or not, I loved reading it and hope that you will enjoy reading it too.  This is from May 7th, 2012....almost exactly 2 years ago.  Two years doesn't seem like much, but I can't even remember the last night you asked to sleep with me.
Whenever you hear the forecast and it calls for rain around bedtime, I know you will ask if you can sleep in my bed within 5 minutes of the weather report....even if it is the 7 day forecast, you will ask.  I hate it and love it at the same time.  I love our cuddle time and I know with every day you grow there is going to be less and less time of cuddles and hugs.  It breaks my heart to know that.  It's kind of like knowing that there is death.  It is inevitable but knowing its existence doesn't make it less sad and final.  Holding on to every cuddle or slumber party makes it easy to say yes.  The fact that you take over my space with your wildly long limbs and that you are essentially a small furnace, makes it impossible for me to relax and sleep.  
There was a time that you, my big boy, could fit between my arm pit and hips.  I would lay on my side with my arm out and you would curl your little body into a ball right between the right angle my arm made with my torso and the right angle my knees would make with my hip.  That was your spot every night.  It isnt a surprise that you are accustomed to sleeping next to me, I completely broke that parenting rule.  Of course, I kind of had to.  For a short time you had your own crib but around the age to two, I had to give it back to the giver.  So for the next two-ish years, we were bunk mates.  Teaching you to sleep in your own bed was difficult.  You are a pro now, but you still don't prefer it.
Here you are, next to me because it has been a rainy night...you have your bear and teddy dog. Picturing you being so small that you could nestle up against me seems so foreign.  I sometimes wish we could go back to you being small again, just for a visit, just for a moment.  I must get used to this feeling, it is one that I will always feel.  Being your parent is the best part of my life but it also bring the biggest reality check.  You are growing and will continue to do so for years.  That is a hard truth to swallow on the nights that I miss holding my baby boy.

Love,

Mommy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Parker,

This week is one you will remember for the rest of your life.  The details will fade, along with the pain, but not matter what else you remember about being 8, you will always remember that you lost your Great Grandpa Don that year.
When Grandpa Jeff called to tell me about Grandpa Don last Thursday, I thought of Grandma and then you.  How would I be able to tell you about losing such an important person?  I dreaded it.  Grandpa Jeff and I waited to tell you after school once we could be in Dayton with the family.  Telling you this has been the hardest thing to do so far in parenting you.

You have been so strong and mature and caring and brave throughout the week.  I am so proud of you and you have impressed me so much.  When we discussed what would happen at the funeral and I told you that I would be speaking, you volunteered to share some words about Grandpa Don too.  When we asked if you would want to help be a pallbearer, you said yes without hesitation.  When we saw Grandpa at the viewing, you were scared at first, but you were able to say your good byes to him.  And you even asked if he has shoes on or if he was barefooted.  

The funeral service was hard and I don't think that you will ever be able to listen to organ music again because of it.  You helped me so much during the service.  You stood by my side while I spoke.  You held back your sobs so that I could hold back mine.  When I was finished, you took a deep breath and told everyone that you loved Grandpa Don.  You were brave to do that.  You were older beyond your years when you did that.  You were amazing.

The path of grief has just started.  You will forget that Grandpa is gone and then you'll remember and be very sad.  That is ok.  It will happen when you go to Dayton mostly and when you are with Grandpa Jeff.  You were very lucky to have Grandpa Don.  He loved you very much and was very proud of you.  When you were born, Grandma Phyllis and Grandpa Don put in an order to 10 more just like you because you were so perfect.  

Anytime you miss Grandpa Don, just let someone know.  We will help you remember him and it'll feel like he is right there with us.  I am so proud of you.  

Love,
Mommy


Saturday, June 29, 2013

.

Dear Parker,

Here we are…your 8th birthday.  I say the same thing every year and I probably always will, but I cannot believe that you are 8!  I have shared your birth story with you already, so I will not bore you with that again.  This year I hope to do something different for you. 

It has been years since I printed photos of you specifically for an album.  I had the idea of collecting photos, starting with your birthday, for over the next year and slowly putting them into a photobook.  Then next year for your birthday, you will have a book dedicated to “8” and begin with 9.  I like the idea.  I think you will like the idea too….especially when you will not have to filter through your childhood photos that I just threw in a box.

Last year you didn't get a birthday party, but this year….this year not only do you get two, but you get to have them at your house…..and, you might even get to have a friend stay the night!  Turning 8 is a big deal!

I think a nice little list of your “by the time you turned 8” achievements is completely called for:
  • You are living in your 4th home
  • You have traveled to: Ohio (duh), Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Colorado (although this shouldn't really count considering it was only at the airport), California, Virginia, and West Virginia
  • You have been to 3 different time zones
  • You have had 4 stitches
  • You have had your tonsils and adenoids removed
  • You have had tubes in your ears
  • You have been on 4 airplanes
  • You have gone through approximately 21.5 pair of shoes
  • You have grown approximately 4.44 inches per years since birth
  • You have gained approximately 10.75 lbs per year since birth (your weight plus my weight are over my finally pregnancy weight...it took a while for this)
  • You have started to learn a second language
  • You have learned how to read
  • You know how to add, subtract and multiply
  • You can write in cursive
  • You have help in two different neighborhood trash clean ups
  • You have ridden the tallest, fastest roller coaster at King’s Island
  • You know how to ride a bike, roller skate and ice skate
  • You have only missed one day of school due to illness
  • You have already experience the annoyingness of head lice
  • You have had a tick removed
  • You have been to three different zoos
  • You have been to a National Park (Great Smoky Mountains), a National Landmark (Hyde Street Pier) and a National Monument (Muir Woods)
  • You have earned 2 Jr. Ranger badges
  • You know how to “Google”
  • You have discovered your natural skill for art
  • You have watched (and understand) the Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • You have finally reached the same T-shirt size as me ;)
This condensed list of the things that you have done in only 8 short years is nothing compared to the list of things that you will do over your lifetime.   Just think of the things you will accomplish in the next year?!  Starting a musical instrument, learning how to care for plants in a garden, learning to cook more complicated meals, traveling to new places…….

You are an amazing little boy who will probably be taller than your dear ol’mom before you are 10.  Turning 8 is an exciting adventure!  You have so much to look forward to this next year, and I hope to help you document it so that you may look back upon your childhood with pride and amazing memories.

Today is not only you birthday but your party day too.  You woke up this morning and before doing anything else, you made your bed and got dressed in your brand new birthday party outfit.  I can honestly say, this was the first time you have ever done that.  Almost immediately you started asking how long until your party. Be patient and enjoy your day kiddo, you only turn 8 once :)

I love you and I am so proud to be your mom.  You are extraordinary.

Happy 8th Birthday!!!!

Love,
Mom

Monday, May 13, 2013


Dear Parker,

This is going to sound a little strange but since I know you won’t have access to any of these letters to you until you are older, I know that it won’t scare you.  I had a bad dream the other night but it gave me a little bit of clarity of my life up to this point.

I dreamt that I was not your mom anymore.  I could not remember any details the next morning beside screaming that my purpose is to be your mom.  I don’t know who I was screaming at or how it came to be that I was not allowed to be your mom, but that brought my minute of clarity.  I know that you, in your young life, have more faith in a God than I do.  I know that you pray and that it brings you a bit of comfort when other things may not.  I am happy for that connection you have found so I know that you will understand that clarity was my purpose.  When you get older, people struggle to find their purpose in life or what the meaning of life may be.  I don’t think that we have a universal purpose and I don’t think it is stagnant.  I think that we have many purposes and it is fluid, because life is always changing.  But I know what my purpose is right now, and it will always be my purpose; to be your mom.

We have had our own unique struggles.  I should rephrase.  I have had unique struggles in parenting you.  Some are the same that every parent experiences but some are just ours.  I don’t think that there is anyone out there who could parent you like I am able to because I think I am the only one with this purpose.  I wish I could say that it was your dad’s purpose as well, and I am so sorry that it is not.  I will never know what that loss feels like for you, I will never understand your internal feelings to not having your biological father in your life.  But, it wasn't his purpose to parent you.  I think it is something that I am meant to do alone.  Well, at least this far into your life.  I always tell you we don’t know what the future will bring and I need to remind myself of that right now.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and although you were rather wound up all day and struggled listening to me, the gifts you made for me and the card you gave me are amazing.  I know how hard you worked on them and how proud you are of your work.  I am too sweetie.  You always and will always make me so proud.

There is no other purpose I would rather have than to be your mom.  You are my heart. 

I love you,
Mommy