Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lessons for My Little Man: To Be Brave

Hello my sweet little boy!

Today, you are the size of a turnip, or so says the weekly email I get from one of the twenty million websites I visit to get information about your impending arrival.  I have learned a lot about you in the past few days!  You seem to like The Beatles which makes your daddy VERY happy!  When I play "Across the Universe" for you, I can feel you settle....listening.  I can't wait to see your sweet face when I play it for you after you arrive.  You don't mind when I jog outside as long as you get something delicious afterward.  I tell you stories about the things we will do as you grow up, and somehow, I know you can hear me.

One of the great benefits and curses of being human is that you come into this world an amalgam of the personality that belongs only to you along with the treasures and demons genetically bestowed upon you by your parents - in your case, Daddy and I.  I hope that you get your daddy's ability to let unhappy things roll off his back.  I hope you maybe like sports a tiny bit less than he does.  I pray that you don't come with my overactive, racing thought patterns and my propensity for self judgment.

However, I do have one very special gift for you - one that I know deep in my heart will be embedded in your tiny little genome.

You will be brave.

Now, it's very, very important to note that to be brave is NOT be to fearless.  In fact, it is quite the opposite!  To be brave is to stand up against fear when it threatens to paralyze you.  Your mommy is very scared of flying on airplanes.  Right around the point of takeoff, she gets all flustered and sometimes has to breathe in and out into the little bag that they give you in case you get sick.  (She has had to use that bag for its intended purpose a couple of times as well.)  Daddy goes to sleep while mommy clutches the arms of her seat so tightly that her fingers turn white, then purple.

But - I fly.  I fly a lot.  Your "Elle", Papa Russ, Aunt Kiki and Uncle Adam all live in Texas (the place where the bluebonnets are!) so, the only way for mommy to see them is to get on an airplane and tough it out.  Mommy and daddy also like to go to fun places like islands in the Caribbean, and we can't get there without getting on airplanes.  So - we fly.

For mommy, airplanes are like dragons - each one another fire-breather to be slain.  But, even worse than flying, mommy is afraid of judgment.  She works very, very hard to avoid ever having to encounter this nemesis, but because of what she does for a living, she meets up with that dragon quite frequently.  This dragon is especially terrifying - he is big, ugly and has terrible, beady eyes.

You will have your dragons to battle too, my little man.  I wish it wasn't so, but no one gets a free pass when it comes to fear.  The key is to find your legs.  Find 'em, plant 'em and stay steady.  Look that dragon straight in his eyes, and gather all the courage you have.  You'll find it in your bones, in your blood and in your spirit.  You will have a lot of it, my son - you are your mother's child.

What you may find as you stare into that dragon's eyes is that he doesn't need to be slain at all.  In fact, what you might see mirrored in those beady eyes is a version of your own fear.  That big ole monster may be just as afraid of someone or something else as you are of him.  And, maybe - just maybe, you will feel sympathy for that scary dragon and instead of putting up your dukes, you will just walk away and leave him to take on his own foes while you go play a pick-up game of kickball with your buddies.

So, when you come crawling into my bed someday oh so soon, terrified of whatever is lurking in your closet, I will cuddle you up while we make up silly names for your dragon...and picture what he would look like in a dress or in his under-roos.  And, when the bigger, scarier dragons of life show up at your door, you will not fight them alone.  Daddy and I will be standing right next to you, waiting for your signal to attack or lay down our arms and go get Blizzards at Dairy Queen.

Let's go fall asleep now to the sounds of John, Paul, Ringo and George.  I love you, my little man.

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