Sweet Child of Mine,
I vow to love you as you are, unconditionally and without judgment. I promise to love you for who you are now-sassy and sweet, funny and fearful -and for who you will become- confident and charismatic, witty and wise. In sickness and in health, I will hug you and kiss you. Through every bruise and every blemish, you will always be beautiful in my eyes. I will hold you with tenderness through sleepless nights of feedings and nightmares. I will have the patience that every tantrum and eye roll demands. When you speak, I will listen. No matter how hard it is to hear. Because there is nothing that will change how deep and how wide my love is for you.
I vow to support you in all that you do, whether you change the world or just the community around you. Doctor or driver, senator or stay at home mom, you will always be valued. I will celebrate your victories. Every “first”, every “last”, and every triumph in between. I will feed your dreams with hope and your talents with praise. You will never have to wonder if you have a cheerleader. You will hear me. Your good choices will fill me with pride, but they will be yours. Your bad choices will also be yours but they won’t scare me because I will know that you must go down your own path of mistakes to get to your legacy.
I vow to give you chances to succeed and chances to fail. I will remember that every success and every failure is a part of the journey, not the destination. I will encourage you to take risks. Every chance not taken is an automatic failure. Your course will be full of valleys and mountains. I will not steal from you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. When you feel defeated, and you will, I promise to remind you that mistakes lead to grace, grace leads to growth, and growth leads to character. Let your journey build you into a better person.
I vow to always tell you the truth, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it makes me. My past is a roadmap of bad choices. Unfold it. Let my mistakes be your lessons. Perfection is a lie. And I have and will make mistakes. I promise to admit when I am wrong. And to have the humility to say I’m sorry. Your character will define you. And integrity is your greatest asset. Never compromise it for the sake of looking right. I will not gloss over your shortcomings. Accountability is a gift. Accept it and grow wise.
I vow to share with you times of laughter and times of tears. I promise to help you love this roller coaster we call life. Ups and downs, twists and turns, we will ride it together. Sometimes with our arms stretched high in the air. Other times, with our eyes shut tight, clinging to the seat for dear life. I promise to celebrate your birthdays with candles and cake, balloons and boxes. Not because you deserve it but because I am so glad God made you mine. I will pray that all your days will be filled with happiness and joy but I know they won’t. Sometimes your heart will ache and your faith will be crushed. Hold on to me. When you hurt, your pain will be my pain, your tears my tears. I promise to speak words when they are needed and to sit in silence when they are not. You will never feel abandoned or alone.
I vow to pray for you and with you. Prayer will light your way in the calm and carry you through the storm. I promise to teach you that there is always hope. When I don’t have the answer, because sometimes I won’t, I believe there is a Friend you can turn to. He will never leave you or forsake you. Where I fail, He triumphs. You will always be made strong in His strength. Lean into Him. He is your shield and your sword.
I vow to be your friend at times, but your mother always. And that means never giving up on you. Never. You are loved, cherished, and adored. I have seen the best of you and I have seen the worst. And I choose to love you in both.
Today and always, I do.