Posts Tagged ‘child rearing’

{A Letter to My Sons} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 26th, 2013

**Disclaimer: triggering subject matter ahead**   I usually do not discuss political or current event topics on this blog. There has been a surge lately in the news about sexual abuse, not just in the USA, but worldwide. People are speaking up, speaking out about the violence, speaking out about the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, […]

 

**Disclaimer: triggering subject matter ahead**

 

I usually do not discuss political or current event topics on this blog. There has been a surge lately in the news about sexual abuse, not just in the USA, but worldwide. People are speaking up, speaking out about the violence, speaking out about the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, speaking out about the stigma. Many people have written about it much  more eloquently than I have, such as the blogger Ask Moxie and her beautiful open letter to her sons, and this mom’s piece on what we should be teaching our future boys. But this is my blog, and as such, I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of voice I want my boys to hear. Both inside their heads, and the voice they speak with as they grow older, and encounter these situations amongst friends and peer groups. It’s terrifying to think about as a mother, and as the mother of two boys, that they will be swimming upstream against societal pressures and norms to be perpetrators. Or worse, silent victims. I write this letter to them, and I hope in my heart that this will be the voice they will hear as they grow older.

 

Dear boys: as I write this to you now, you’re wrestling with each other in the other room, it’s on the verge of bedtime, in that sweet spot where everything is giggles, boy laughter, and best brother hugs. I know the fighting and “I don’t want to go to bed” and “just one more story” is going to come soon, but right now, life is perfect. I love you guys to bits, and I want to freeze this moment forever and hold it still, and cherish it always.

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You guys are best friends, as well as best brothers. There is nothing I love more than catching you two curled up together reading, playing, or sharing a moment. I know that growing up is inevitable, but I hope that you guys will look back on your childhood, and remember that it was ok to be kind to each other, to laugh and hug with each other, and to be there for each other. I want you guys to remember that it’s ok to use your words to express how you feel, even if it’s “not cool”, even when you are feeling angry or sad. Especially when you are feeling angry or sad.

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I want you boys to always think it’s cool to have a picnic with your teddy  bears, even if the popular crowd doesn’t think the same as you. I want to hear you proudly declare at 2, or 12 with the same zeal “but mom, the teddy  bears need me RIGHT NOW”, and still believe in the magic of imaginative play. I love that you cuddle, and care for them, and pretend that they need help and you give it to them. I hope that when you’re older, and you see a friend who needs a hug, or needs someone to care for him or her, that you’ll step up and be there for them, just like you were for your teddy bears. I hope that when you’re with someone, and they say “No”, you respect that. And if you see someone who can’t say “No”, you can stand up and be their voice for them. Be caring. Be loving. Be kind.

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Boys, I want you guys to know that, no matter what, you guys are my goofballs.  I hope that you will always go through life with the same sense of confidence and zest that you display now. You guys continually amaze me with how self assured you guys are with both your individual personalities, and how devastating you guys are when you combined together in your Vulcan mind meld to get exactly what you want. I also want you to know, you will always have us, your mom and dad, and you will always have each other. We will always be here to listen to you, no matter if it’s a bad dream in the middle of the night, or a phone call you need to make to let us know that there’s a bad decision going on and you need us to come get you. We will never get mad if you need our help.

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Dearest oldest son, with your infectious laughter, and your empathy that extends for miles and miles, I worry about you the most. You have a keen sense of justice, and a very indignant sense of what is right and what is wrong in the world. I wish that I could tell you that it’s easy to make the bad people own up to their problems, but you already know that it’s not that easy, and that sometimes, doing the right thing means people don’t want to hear what you have to say. But I’m proud of the little man that you are becoming, and I’m proud that you are always there to help with a kind word, and you have the biggest heart of anyone that I know. Speak up if you see someone can’t speak up for themselves, and go against the tide. I know you can do it.

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Dear youngest son, you are my fireball. You are my fight first, and ask questions later. You defend your brother’s honor at all cost, even if you don’t really understand what’s going on, and for that, I adore your loyalty to him. I hope that as you grow, you continue to be loyal to your friends, and that you know when you see a situation that is wrong, that you continue to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. I hope you will help those that can’t help themselves, that find themselves unable to say no, unable to walk away, and fight for them.
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Boys, you have your entire future ahead of you. It’s full of wonder, and joy, and excitement. I know you guys wake up every single day with a can-do attitute, and dreams that you want to fulfill. I hope that every day can be like that for you. But I know that there will be difficult days ahead, as you journey through growing older, and navigate the waters of adolescence. There will be parties, and tough decisions. Friends and frenemies making good and bad choices, and people you may not want to help, but will need your help. I hope that when you’re older, and read through this blog, you’ll remember these words: be true to yourself, care for your fellow human beings. We love you guys, and we are always here for you.

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I love you guys.

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