You are two now! You are trying so hard to talk more, and you love to repeat the things I say and do. This is a little scary for this relatively new mama. When I was a teacher, I could handle being on my best behavior for fifty-five minutes at a time. Fifty-five minutes of not cursing (out loud anyway), fifty-five minutes of not responding in anger, fifty-five minutes of being respectful, FIFTY-FIVE minutes until the next break. Then we had a fresh start the next day. I wasn’t perfect, and I’m sure some of my students could tell you there were times I lost my cool, but I could usually do fifty-five minutes of teaching at a time. And I was great at starting over each day. If a student had a bad day, I could pretend it never happened the next time we had class. A new day, a new start.
But this mommy gig is a lot bigger than fifty-five minutes. You see the real me, all of me, every day. Right now you’re learning more from me than anyone else in your world. I try to be on my best behavior, but without hourly breaks, sometimes my patience runs out. Sometimes a curse word slips out. Sometimes I yell or make a noise out of frustration. Sometimes my attitude is sour. Sometimes I zone out.
I’m trying, though. I’m trying to be better for you. I want to teach you so much, Tice! Part of what I want you to learn from me is forgiveness. It’s easy to show you forgiveness when you make mistakes, but I also have to remember to apologize and ask for forgiveness when I mess up. I’m your mommy, but I’m not perfect. You know that better than anyone, so there’s no reason to pretend. I’ll gladly admit when I’ve been wrong if it means you learn from it.
You thrive on our routines, and we have many. One of your favorite routines is our prayer times. (Daddy and I always joke that you like Baptist prayers because you always want more after we say “Amen.”) One of the most important things that we pray together at night and on the way to school is that others can see Christ in us. When I was growing up, it was easy for me to believe in Jesus because I had a mom that showed me His kind of love. I saw Christ in her words, her actions, and how she taught me to love and forgive others. My prayer for you—and really for me—is that I can be the kind of mom that makes it easy for you to believe in Jesus.
When I think about the many problems facing society today, the one that breaks my heart the most is how we treat each other. I beg God that one day the world will be able to see Christ in you–that you won’t just talk about Jesus, but you’ll love like Him. That how you treat others—no matter who they are, what they look like, or what their political beliefs are—will make it easy for them to believe in Jesus.
These words are the desire of my heart, my sweet boy. These are the things I want for you, the heavy things I think about when I have too much time to think. But most of our time is spent just playing– playing with trucks, painting, looking for (and eating) pecans, playing hide-and-seek, and watching Cars. Everyday we have fun. Everyday we laugh and sing with voices only we can appreciate. Everyday you challenge me. Everyday you grow and learn. And everyday, you bless your daddy and me by just being here and being you. I savor these moments with you, Tice. I am so thankful that we get to teach each other for more than fifty-five minutes each day.
I love you forever,