Thank You: A Letter to My Children on Mother’s Day
Blake & Chloe,
I tell you that my life is so much better with you in it. And there are no truer words. Except for maybe: I love you more than I can even understand. It’s a love that is immeasurable, and I have trouble fathoming how such a feeling exists. I always ask you, “Why do I love you so much?” It is awe-inspiring, really.
You have changed my life in so many ways, and all for the better. You have no idea the impact you’ve had on me. I tell you all the time how important you are and how lucky I am that God gave you to me. I need to tell you why I am so grateful, and one day you will read this when I feel you can fully understand.
Mommy was a very different person before you guys came into my life. Nobody is perfect, of course. I was selfish and thoughtless. And I was on a self-destructive path that I hope you’ll never travel.
I used to drink every day before you came along. I didn’t think much of it until I realized I couldn’t control it. I would make deals with myself at the beginning of each day thinking, I’m not going to drink tonight. I don’t need it. And I felt so firm in my resolve as I started my day off fresh, with a clean slate. But guess what I was doing every night? Yep. I couldn’t stop.
The following morning I would always hate myself. I would be enraged. I would feel worthless and disgusted. But most of all I would feel weak. I don’t like to feel weak. And this was the ultimate in weakness. I didn’t have any control and I didn’t know what to do.
I just kept going along like this for years, drifting in and out of self-loathing and self-acceptance. I could be alright with myself if I justified it in some way. I would think I was fine because I could still go to work and all my bills were paid. I never missed a day of work because of it, though I spent many of those days hungover to the point I wish I was dead.
Then the self-loathing would creep back in as I would come up out of my alcohol-induced delusion. I would realize this wasn’t right, but I never could break the cycle. Not until you guys came along.
You saved me. You made me realize that I didn’t want you to grow up the way I did. My mother was an alcoholic. While I know deep down she loved us, she never put us first. It was always the drink that came first. I don’t ever want you to feel that I put anything else in this world before you. Without you two, I don’t know where I would be right now, but I know it certainly wouldn’t be as amazing as where I am right now.
Chloe, I want to be a mom you can look up to. I want you to see that you can do anything you want in this world. You are so beautiful, sweet, and smart. You make me laugh every day and I hope one day we will be best friends. Because, honestly, you are one cool chick. What do I always tell you? “You are my favorite girl in the whole world.” Because it’s true.
You are the most special girl in the world to me, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else will automatically feel the same way. We earn our place in this world, we earn respect from others, and we don’t ever assume we are more important than anyone else.
It is my wish for you to be a strong, independent woman, a woman that earns her place. That kind of woman doesn’t expect anything. She makes her own way and on her own terms. That is being true to oneself. And when you are true to yourself you will get the best out of your life. That is what I want for you.
Blake, it is my wish for you to be a strong, confident man. That doesn’t mean you can’t cry or show your feelings. Some of the best things about you are your capacity for empathy and kindness.
But you must be tough, too. And I know you are. Don’t let this world tell you what you should be. Don’t let them dictate your future. I don’t want anyone to cut you down to size just because of who you are. You have every right to be proud of yourself, no matter what.
It is my hope that you will never have to apologize for who you are. And believe me, son, I am doing everything I can right now to instill the confidence you will need to make it in this world. I want you to do whatever you want, and just be who you are, with no apologies. Through hard work and persistence you can do anything.
I tell you both that you make me proud every day. And that’s the absolute truth. I could never have imagined better kids than you. Nor could I imagine that I could love another person so much. I don’t even know how to express it, because in every way I try to explain, it just seems so lacking. My love for you is beyond words. All I can say is . . . thank you.
Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for giving my life purpose. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being you. And thank you for everything that is yet to come. Thank you.
Originally published at musclemattersblog.com on May 14, 2017.