I sometimes find myself missing the days when mommy kisses and snuggly hugs could mend my children's broken hearts and boo boos, but over the years I've learned some wounds need tending instead of mending, some are meant to leave scars as reminders and lessons learned.
A letter to my son while his heart was breaking –
My darling son, my precious, precious boy – if it were in my power to spare you this heartache, I would not do so. As much as I may wish I could, I simply wouldn’t. I love you far too much to deprive you of this pain. It’s through pain we learn to heal; through trials that we grow strong. We only learn to stand by rising after a fall. My heart breaks with yours, I feel the sting of your tears, I feel your sadness as though it were my own, and in so many ways, my sweet child, it is.
When you were a very little boy, there were so many times I wanted to grab you up and hold you tight when your tiny feet faltered and you fell, but I waited. I waited until you pulled yourself up before taking you by the hand and pulling you close. Then, I would smile and praise your efforts, I would tell you what a great job you did getting back up and you would smile back, thinking not of the fall, but of the rise.
I remember too, watching you struggle at some task or another and forcing myself to resist the urge to somehow make it easier for you, and I waited. I watched you figure it out and then congratulated you with kisses and you would give me the sweetest kisses back, thinking not of the difficulty, but of the accomplishment.
There were times I said no to the things you desired most and your adorable little pout and puppy-dog eyes welling up with tears made me want to simply give you what your heart longed for, but I waited. I let you feel the disappointment and then I tried to show you how to earn the thing you wanted and you would, thinking not of the work required, but of the reward.
I knew with all my heart, as sure as I knew the sun was in the sky above, that you were capable. I knew the only way to teach you lessons in life was to let you learn them. Sometimes you cried, sometimes I did too, but I knew it all served a greater purpose.
If I had picked you up each time you fell, you would learn to stay down until someone else brought you to your feet. Dependence would grow where independence was meant to bloom.
If I had solved your problems or made them easier for the sake of time or my own need to see you overcome them, you wouldn’t learn perseverance and the joy of accomplishment.
If I had given to you all you ever wanted you would never learn to patiently wait for what you desired, you would never learn the value of things or the importance of earning them.
I am proud of you my sweet boy, so proud. I’m proud you have the strength to let your tears fall. You have a beautiful heart, filled with love and hope and you are not afraid to let the world see it, you are not afraid to share it. The world doesn’t always know what to do with beautiful things and are blind to their worth, sometimes they break them, and that is their shame, that is their loss.
Your heart has been broken and it may well be broken again. You have to pick up the pieces and use them to mend it. It takes time, but it will heal and you will learn and you will grow and it will be even stronger than it was before. You will be even stronger than you were before. But if you decide to let the pieces lay where they fell, you will always feel their absence and try to fill the empty places with things that will never quite fit.
You are a good man, my son. A very good man. And even though I hate to see you hurting, I will wait. I will help dry your tears, I will listen and I will be here for you, I’ll try to ease your burden, but I won’t try to take it away. I will wait and I will watch you grow, just as I always have.