I knew, when I carried you in my belly, that this life would be a hard one for you to live. It’s becoming harder and harder for people much younger and younger. Today, mommy read something about a young girl who ended her life because people were mean to her and she felt alone. Which is why I’m writing this letter to you, one of the hundreds I will write over the years.
That young lady took her life, in mommy’s opinion, for many reasons. People were not nice to her. She felt alone. Her parents missed the mark. I know I will mess up as a mother. I will fail you and in turn, you will make mistakes I should have prepared you better for. But I’m going to try my hardest to make those failures as few and far in between as humanly possible.
Baloo Bear, you’re not always going to like me. I’m not going to play the part of one of your “buddies.” It is my honor, duty and privilege to be your mother, your soldier, your advocate, your confidant. After all of that, I am your friend. But never before and never in its place. I cannot and will not give you everything you want.
I will do my best to teach you how to defend yourself with your words and physically, because sometimes, you might have to defend yourself against the ugliness of peoples hearts. I will do my best to teach you to be kind to others, to base your reactions on actions versus assumptions. I will do my best to teach you that you are loved no matter if you are straight, gay, artistic, non-artistic, soft spoken or loud as all hell. I will do my best to give you what is lacking in this world right now.
I will push you to be your best. I will be nosy. I will ask you where you are going and with whom. I will probably drive by to check. I will not let you have a computer in your room. You will not have a cell phone unless you can foot the bill. You will buy your first car which will probably be a piece of shit. And you will value it that much more because you will have earned it. I will remove your door if need be. I will not get you the newest whatever when you already have things JUST BECAUSE your friends got the new junk. I will encourage you to be yourself despite the crowd. I will nurture your passions to the best of my ability.
I will remember that I was a kid once. That I was self-conscious of my apparent poverty, of my looks, my thoughts, my feelings. I will remember that I wanted my independence but I also wanted to know my parents cared. I will remember that I thought I knew it all at a very early age. I was wrong about a lot. But I still believed. And it took lessons learned to show me otherwise.
I will live my life and let you live yours, under my guidance and helping hand. I will let you stand alone to be the best damn man you can possibly be.
I will emphasize education, articulation, respect for yourself, for women, for elders, for animals, for this earth, for children. I will teach you that respect 9 times out of 10 MUST be earned. I will emphasize that you only get ONE life.
I love you, Hunter Daniel, to no end. I will fight the good fight for you, beside you. You will resent me, hate me, call me mean and evil. I hope, someday, you know – I will do what I can to give you something better. I don’t need you to think I’m cool. I need you to respect me. To appreciate the message I hope to spread.
I will lay down my life for you, if thats what it takes.
I will not, and I repeat, will not bury you.
This letter is for my son. This letter is for every child I have never met. It takes a village to raise a child. Our village, this country, is failing as our children become bullies and victims. We fight terrorism around the world. Our neglect as parents is the true terrorism. I fight for the end of the casualties.