My eldest son recently graduated high school this past year. During the celebration, I read this letter to him, in front of all our party guests. The result; a room full of tears and a kiss and hug of gratitude from my kid. What a great day! Please enjoy…
My first-born son,
At the end of January 1998, after weeks of feeling like I had the flu; I went to the doctor expecting to be diagnose with some terminal disease. Instead, it was announced by the doctor I had been pregnant.
I called your dad from the doctor’s office. I honestly did not know how he’d react. Truth be told, I was in utter shock myself. What were we going to do with a baby at that time? This was not how the plan was supposed to be. When your dad arrived, I just blurted it out. It felt like I just had to rip the band-aid off. Your dad just stared at me like a deer in headlights: looking wide and stunned. I can almost swear I saw him gulp. Hard.
Your dad and I were only married a little over two months’ total when we were informed you were on the way at 6 weeks gestation. We had plans to conquer the world as a newly married couple; full of travel plans, financial building, whereas we’d eventually seek a small town for our future 2.5 children and buy our first home…when we felt the time was right…just like any newly married couple.
We were living with grandpa and grandma at the time: your dad and I were getting ready to transition our lives elsewhere, yet we didn’t know where for certain. We both only had part time jobs. If it wasn’t for grandpa and grandma, who knows how we could have adequately transitioned into our tiny town and begin our life with you.
We arrived in our new town in June of 1998. What a trip it was: the trip, normally 5.5 hours long, seemed forever. I was driving my car, your dad driving the U-Haul, grandpa driving the motor home, and grandma driving your dad’s truck. We all had walkie talkies to communicate. And as I was about 6.5 months pregnant, I was asking your grandpa to pull over seemingly every half hour to pee. It always felt you were sitting on my bladder constantly.
We did a stop somewhere in the middle of not much anywhere and noticed your grandma, who was driving your dad’s truck wasn’t behind us. We waited and waited and waited…then here came grandma around the corner with a truck full of the biggest potatoes I had ever seen. She proclaimed she witnessed a truck dump some of their load of potatoes to meet the weight requirements and had taken off. Grandma decided she’d load up your dad’s truck. Our first dinner in our new town, was spent with grandpa and grandma eating the best tasting potatoes we ever had!
Your dad had previously come up with grandpa and found our little townhome and a new job. Your dad was supporting a family then, making $11.50 an hour. Somehow, we always made it work.
You were eventually born on your due date; September 11, 1998, weighing 7 lbs., 2 oz. You were scrawny, with the skinniest legs, and a hematoma on your head that made you look like Gumby. I was in labor with you for 53 hours. I contemplated wanting to have another child ever again because I was convinced you were trying to kill me right from the womb. You had me nauseous all the time and demanded I eat blue cheese salad dressing when I literally despise the stuff!
When you came out to greet the world, I didn’t know what I was expecting, but I didn’t expect you. You immediately were so much more than I did expect – Gumby head and scrawny legs and all. Other than fear of if you would be healthy, I feared would I love this baby? I did at first sight and I have for all your years. I think I loved you before I knew you as a little girl playing with and holding her dolls, thinking of the day I get to be a mommy.
Son, now here you are. Eighteen and a high school graduate. All the seasoned parents would tell us, enjoy every second of your children, it goes way too fast. Your dad and I, only now agree whole-heartedly. It feels like yesterday we greeted you in the world, watched you crawl, walk, talk, ride your bike without training wheels…kissed your boo-boo’s.
Then you had progressed from this sweet little baby into a stubborn, Tasmanian devil. Somehow, we (and you) made it through. You began to transition into someone that continued their stubborn streak with argumentative banter, although you accrued an honest confidence and exacting standards for yourself, where you worked diligently to always improve and eventually achieve anything you decided.
One Christmas, your dad and I were strolling through what seemed like every store in the area, to find gift items for you and your brother. We all know how your dad loves to shop and the money he loves to spend…out of desperation to find you something, I saw a $25-dollar electric guitar at Sears that came with a shoe-box size speaker. We contemplated even buying it as we figured you just might break it about 10 minutes after you received it (and that time slot was being generous for you at that time). We were tired from our shopping trip and decided to buy it and get back home.
That guitar with the shoebox sized speaker was the start of everything for you and your love of music. You began your music lessons as an 8-year-old with that guitar. We never told you to practice or treat your guitar well. You always practiced on your own with every chance you got, you oiled your guitar and the strings, and laid it down with care. Eventually you had a drum set you taught yourself to play and then a piano that you already have played beautifully with no lessons. Your talent of music is real. Your music is your passion. Your music comes to you naturally. Your ability of the music you can play is your own inspiration to succeed and move forward. Music is what you were meant to do and you have an amazing gift.
Whatever you choose to do from here, is entirely your path to choose. Whatever your future holds, your dad and I want you to be happy most of all. We wish you continued attributes of health, confidence, endurance, and happiness that will guide you to the future you were meant to have.
Congrats our son, we are all so proud of you. Thank you for being our kid. Everyday spent being your parents, are proof being a time well spent growing you up and being with you here today.
We love you infinitely,
Poppa & Momma