July 3, 2009

Dear Jack, Month 25

Dear Jack,

At one point last week, you said something that broke my heart. You grabbed my hand and whispered to me, "Those kids don't like me." I was stunned to hear you say that and I even asked you to repeat it so that I could make sure I heard you correctly.

"Those kids don't like me."

Just recalling that moment makes me ache.

I don't know what made you think that or if you knew what you were saying or what inspired you to say it about kids we don't even know, but it bothered me a lot. Not because I'm naive enough to think that everyone will always like you . . . it's true there are some people in life that just won't (though at this point it's hard to imagine how that could ever be).

I was saddened to think that at two years old, you're already aware that people have the capacity to like or not like you. To judge you. That you're already in the beginning stages of feeling self-conscious and sensitive about who you are. And what bothers me even more is that I don't really even know what to tell you. I still feel that way a lot . . . self-conscious, that is.

I want to protect you from ever feeling that way. I want to keep you from ever thinking that anyone doesn't like you. I don't want you to ever feel awkward about who you are or what you look like or what you're capable of. I don't ever want you to look in the mirror and not like what you see. I want you to celebrate all of the ways in which you're gifted.

But of course, I know I can't protect you from those things. You're human and you'll fall into some of the same thought patterns and frustrations that we all do. But what I can do is remind you often that you're created in God's image and should concentrate on becoming more of who he wants you to be. And as I'm reminding you of that, you'll serve as a reminder for me to do the same thing.

Your two-ness continues to bring us moments of sheer joy and extreme frustration. I feel like we can talk about pretty much anything and you'll understand what I'm saying. I wish that I could just have a recording device strapped to your chest at all times so that we could remember every funny thing you say . . . there are way too many to keep track of!

At the same time, your ability to understand and communicate brings a frustrating dynamic in that you can tell us EXACTLY. WHAT. YOU. WANT. Your manners have become excellent in that you will usually say, "May I please have . . . " But you haven't quite figured out that asking nicely doesn't always mean that we'll say yes.

Summers are hard. Your dad and I work a lot, which means we spend a lot of time missing you. It seems ridiculous, I know, because you're right there with us at work. We eat every meal with you and we can walk out of our office at any time and usually see you on the playground or the beach. But that almost makes it harder.

I love spending time with you, Jack, and I miss you when you're not around. I like you and I think you're one of the coolest people I know.



Sarah said...

Awwwwwwww. :)

I like Jack too :)

Anonymous said...

ok, i REALLY hope my kids weren't mean to him!

sweet letter, as always!