As I am writing this, it is nearly 2 am. Up until about 30 minutes ago I was in bed reading when I heard one of my kids wake up and shuffle around his room. Upon checking to see what was going on, I found that Tommy, my middle son, had a nightmare and was trying to settle himself back down. Seeing that he needed some comforting, I invited him to come into the living room. He seemed to already know what he needed to soothe him: for me to pray for him, his favorite Pandora station that we have customized over the years to play Rockabye Baby and instrumental hymns, and to lay in my specific spot on the couch.
Just as Tommy was all settled in and I had turned off all the lights he pointed over to my laptop. “Mom, why is your laptop over there? Aren’t you going to write a blog while we are up?” I assumed he was procrastinating falling asleep, so I asked him, “No, what would I write about?” When he replied it was deep. Okay, well, it was deep for a 6-year-old. “I want you to write a blog with a picture of me with you, Jeffrey, Becca, Johnny Ben, and Molly and a picture of you and dad. Then you can write about how much you and dad love us and how much you love dad, because someday I’ll read a lot and want to read it when I am a grown up.”
I was so caught off guard. I expected him to tell me about his efforts to tell The Joker about Jesus so he won’t be an arch-villain any more. (Yes, that is really a frequent topic of his.) I did not expect him to mention something so emotional and actually relevant. (Dear Mr. Future Tommy, I’m sorry for assuming you wouldn’t be relevant. But you were 6. Someday you’ll have a 6-year-old and know what I mean. Forgive me. Love always, Mrs. Mom From The Past) I promised him I would do so, but a few moments later after he fell asleep I decided to go ahead and do it now.
Why now? In the last few years I have made a lot of to do lists. Most of the items listed on those lists have never been crossed off. I do have good reason for some of that, but I really don’t care why I can’t do this that and the other any more. I’ve been in the process of reorganizing my life and re-prioritizing. (I’ll write more about that another day…) When it comes to my kids, I no longer want to put anything on the back burner if it can be done now.
So Tommy, and my other 4 children, this one is for you…
I could never explain how much I love each of you. You guys are probably so sick of me telling you all the time, but it is true. (Okay, apparently Tommy isn’t tired of it…) These aren’t just words that I have to say nor am I making small talk. You may get tired of me stopping you to give you a hug, sending you a goofy text that ends with an “I love you” in all caps and tons of exclamation points, or saying it out of the clear blue. But I mean every word and I want to be clear to you that I do, with all of my heart, love you.
All 5 of you know how far from perfect I am and how I wish that some things had happened differently. I regret every mistake I have made that has caused you any pain. I’m sorry that because of my past mistakes we are all split in half across the country from each other. I wish that Tommy, Johnny Ben, and Molly could have grown up with Jeffrey and Becca and that you all would see each other every day. I hate that I don’t see all 5 of you on a daily basis. That does NOT mean that I love any of you more than another though. My feelings for each of you are equal. Just remember, we have had some amazing summers as a family. We have inside jokes, hobbies, and many memories that have come out of those times together. Others may think we are weird, but that’s okay. Embrace it. This is how God made us to be, a big silly family full of inside jokes, and we are happy.
At the same time, because I care so deeply for you, I will not let you just do everything you want. We have rules, consequences, and lots of talks (that you all roll your eyes at… Don’t think I don’t notice…) because I want you to have successful lives and relationships, now and when you are grown. I want you to know right from wrong, good manners, and most of all how much Jesus loves you and wants to be a part of your lives. There are times that you will be angry with me, but I will not apologize for doing my job as your mom.
Not only am I thankful to have you as my children, but I’m thankful that you all have each other as siblings. Even with the age and distance gaps, you all get along more than many other brothers and sisters I know. You all amaze me and bless me so much in many ways, but this is one area that I am extremely blessed. You may bicker and argue occasionally, but when it comes down to what matters, you all look out for and help each other. That’s awesome, thank you!
You may not see how it is possible now, but each of you have taught me so much. Whether it be how to have patience in a hospital with an unforeseen circumstance only to see God work a miracle in His time, how to pour tea like a princess, the name of a little known character in Star Wars, understanding more about the neural system, or something academic. You inspire me to better myself. Each of you blow me away with your wisdom. Yes, even Molly, who at the time of my writing this is 2. You’re all going to do great things. I know it.
It is no secret how much I love your Dad, Bobby. While we all know that Jeffrey and Becca have a different biological father that loves them as well, we were blessed when Bobby came along. He loved you both as if you had always been his and still does. You should know that he has not once referred to you as “step-children” and always as “my son and daughter”. I’m pretty crazy about that man, and he loves all of us very much as well. Even more than Cadillacs, Twinkies, and Coca Cola.
As I bring this to an end, I want to remind you that nothing in this world will ever compare to the love of Jesus. Never give up on Him, because He will never give up on you. Each of you know of times in your lives that He stepped in and touched you with healing or resolve. Never forget what He has done, and thank Him every day. I thank God every day for the privilege of being your Mom. I would go through every one of those pregnancies, labors, sleepless nights, and rough days again in a heartbeat if given the chance. Bobby and all of you are the best thing that ever happened to me outside of salvation. One more time:
I love you, Kids!!!
P.S. Tommy, thank you for asking me to write this. It’s not just for you, I needed it as well.
P.P.S. Are there flying cars? Did you guys ever talk me into going back to blonde? Write back your “past mom” and let me know about the future, ‘kay?
If you read through all that and have made it down to the bottom of this post, I urge you to write a letter to your children to read some day. Not only will they be grateful that you did, but you will as well.
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