I Give You Permission Not to Love Me

I am a Cathedral of Deadbolts and I would rather burn myself down than change the locks. -- Rachel McKibbens

To my future son.

I will cherish you and remind you every moment that I love you.

I will not dispose of your opinions simply because you are young. I will not dismiss your original thoughts and creative ideas as nothing - as many have done to me. I will give you the right to use the voice that you’ve been blessed with. I will make sure you will be heard. I will teach you not to accept that you can be suppressed or silenced or ridiculed. I will teach you to stand up for yourself with validation.

I will ground you for life if you intentionally hurt anyone’s feeling.

I will raise you in Christianity, read the scripture to you, and display the love you deserve, but also remember that the decision to follow Christ is ultimately yours, for coercing it upon you will not place you on the path of righteousness. So I will always pray for you.

I will make sure you listen to a variety of music. You’re grounded if you like Justin Bieber (I’m totally kidding. I think).

I will make you laugh whenever you’re down - or simply make you laugh or smile whenever you’re around. I will surprise you in many ways I can and give you as many memories you want to reflect on as you grow older, taller, wiser. 

I will fall to my knees to admit I am sorry when I am in the wrong, for I am human and I am not perfect like our Lord and I will make mistakes. And with that, I hope to teach you how to sincerely apologize and recognize you are not invincible, but that you need Christ to be the best you can be. I hope to teach you how to be humble; I hope you realize that you must treasure the relationships you have with those around you and what sacrifices - especially our pride - is needed.

I will not yell at you if you’ve made a mistake. Humans are not perfect, so why should you be? If you fail a class, I will not ridicule you or tell you you’re a failure. You are my child, you are a blessing, and I will help you get over this obstacle. Because this is a challenge, it does not mean you must forfeit. It does not mean you’re weak. I will never leave your side, especially during the times you will need me.

I will kiss the wounds.

I will read you bed time stories.

I will try not to hug you for too long or cry whenever you’re moving to greater, more amazing things in life.

I will give you a standing ovation when you’re on the stage for whatever reason. I will audaciously clap and sometimes embarrass you on how proud I am to be your mother.

I will love you.

I will be a mother, not an authoritarian.