As always, these days, our relationship is so conflicted. You want what you want when you want it, and it seems I'm the one thwarting you most of the time. I try so hard to make the "have-to's" of our daily life as fun as I can, but I'm still the "mean Mom" shuttling you back and forth from obligations, keeping you from your precious TV and video games, and putting cous-cous down in front of you at dinner. Daddy plays games with you and has endless patience; it's no shocker that he's your favorite. I'm keeping at it though, stepping in to play Slapperjack and board games with you, and we've started a pillow-fight tradition in the evenings before you head off to bed. I'm not letting you go without a fight, Natey.
I want to talk to the grown-up you for a minute, the 20-year old that you'll be, God willing, some day. The 30-year old, setting down into "real life." The 40-year old Daddy and husband:
I tried to make sure your favorite clothes were clean to wear to school. I tried to make sure you had "trendy" clothes so you wouldn't get made fun of. I tried to keep your hair looking cute. I tried to remember to send you to school in a costume on "dress-up" days. I tried to make your healthy lunches as fun as possible so you wouldn't feel deprived. I tried to buy you the popular toys, so you'd have the "cool things" to play with. I tried to keep the TV off so you'd learn to entertain yourself and be happy alone, in your own skin. I tried to relax, so you'd be a relaxed person. I tried to introduce you to good music so you'd learn to love it as much as I do. I tried not to gossip or talk negatively in front of you so you'd be a more positive person than I am. I tried to be my best self in front of you all the time so you'd have a good example to learn from.
I was sometimes snappy and impatient, and I regret it. Life sometimes feels a little crazy for me - too busy, too rushed, too harried - and I'm not a "roll with the punches" kind of girl. I am really sorry.
But I want you to know how much I love you, how much I like you, how hard I tried to be a better person than I actually am so that you'd have the best life possible.
And I want you to know something else: I never once blamed you or was mad at you for loving Daddy more than me. You have the most amazing Dad in the world and I totally understand. I just hope as a grown-up you can see that while I wasn't always on the floor playing "piggies" with you, I was there in the kitchen cutting up the veggies for your lunches and researching summer camps and making sure you were signed up for gymnastics.
I love you Nate, at every age. Can't wait to meet the guy who's reading this one day!