I wrote this letter as part of the End Medicine Abuse Project in conjunction with Listen to Your Mother. You can read more about the project here. Yes, this post is sponsored by The Partnership at Drugfree.org as part of a blog tour with listentoyourmothershow.com in an effort to End Medicine Abuse.
I took part in it because as much as I like a good laugh, part of what I believe so desperately about parenting (and everything) is being honest and upfront with your kids, self, random internet strangers, you get it. And because I hadn’t thought much about medicine abuse in my kids (they are so little), the project challenged me to come up with an honest way to talk to them about the issue of drugs. I was honored to do this because this is one of those important honesty moments we all need to have with ourselves and kids. I chose to write a letter to my son, baby Jude. Part of this is me imagining him grown. I chose Jude because he’s so new here, that I wanted to take a moment and talk to him. If you have questions about why I wanted to take part in this project, leave them in the comments (or email). I’ll answer.
Forgive me for believing in your infinite potential. For seeing all the universes inside of you. I am your mother. I was there when you became my guy; my XY from an XOXO. Don’t make dry heaving noises at me. It’s true. I was there when you became a pronoun from a verb. So small, I didn’t notice until you were my upset stomach. My frequent urination. My growing hope. You started as a “no sushi, no tuna, watch the coffee” and grew into a “no clothes fit.” And then you emerged a person, fully formed, with a silly wide mouth that both your father and I stared at in amazement. And then prayed it didn’t end in orthodontist bills.
I will never stop being awed by you. How your fingers and toes exist. It sometimes seems like magic that you are here. I know too well the miracle that you are.
And that’s what I want to tell you. I want to tell you to look at your hands, your face and your feet. They once were mine and I took care of them. Buying hypo-allergenic lotions because you might be allergic to god-knows-what. Cutting nails. Binding little hands into little mittens. Applying Mickey Mouse band aids when needed and sometimes when they weren’t. But those days are over. Your skin that is yours now; every hair, every cuticle and cell now belongs to you. Sometimes you wash. You fight me on haircuts. Remember deodorant? Right, exactly.
And with all of this, I know you feel like you are something indestructible. And that whatever you do, you will be able to continue forward. That there is no end.
That’s a lie. Those hands and feet that now belong to you. That brain, those earlobes, the space between your fingers. It can all be ruined in a careless moment. A curiosity for drugs, for cigarettes. Or a weak moment where you want something to help you study to help you have fun. I know you don’t believe me. I know you are rolling your eyes. But you were created in a moment, you can be destroyed in one. And if that moment comes and you choose to say “yes,” when you should say “no.” Just know that to me, you will never be ruined. To me, you will always be beautiful. And I will always help pull you back.
Remember you are a miracle. What you contain is immeasurable. That you came from a spark and now you are here. Big hairy, with a wide-mouth grin and a gangly legs. There is nothing you need to make you feel how other people think you should feel, there is nothing you need to have more fun, to end your boredom to make you “cool” (if that’s what the kids are still saying these days), that you don’t already have within you. I know this for a fact. Because I made you. And yes, I will always hold that over your head.
I love you.