Dear Mom and Dad,
I am going to change you. The transformation is going to painful at times, but it is going to be beautiful. Trust the process as you experience this metamorphosis. Just as with the butterfly, you really are very different from what you will become. As you learn and grow with me you will experience so many ah-ha moments that will make you a better you.
Mom and Dad, this parenting thing isn’t going to come easy. In ways you will feel like you are losing yourself, but don’t panic. This is part of the process. You think you are losing a part of who you are, but in reality you are becoming all that you were supposed to be.
Know what? You were selfish. For years, it has been all about you. You have been able to dictate your own schedule. Sleeping happened on your timetable. You only had to clean up your own mess and work on your own behavior. Going out with friends was a priority. Feeding into your talents and interests was what you lived for.
Now you get me. You’ll delight as you help me develop my talents. The sleep sacrifices you make so that I can be well fed or that you can chase away my nasty dreams will be hard, but they will be worth it. You are learning that there is joy in service. The investment you are making in me as part the future generation is teaching you that maybe there is delight found when you get outside of yourself enough to care deeply about another human being. It is said, “The greatest sacrifice is when you sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of someone else.” I know this isn’t always easy. I won’t always thank you or even recognize your sacrifice, but it is still appreciated.
You once thought you were patient. Guess what? You’re not. When you have taught me over and over and over again the same thing, and I still don’t get it, it will send you over the edge. I will continue to drop my shoes where they don’t go. The tantrums will push you to your limits. My disobedience will sadden you but also make you angry. Your anger might surprise you too. This is all part of the refinement process. Don’t worry. You will develop more patience over time, and that’s a good thing.
It will become increasing clear to you that I mimic what you do. Therefore, you will want to do better and be better. Desiring to create a child with character will help you be more honest and have words drip out of your mouth that are more like honey than like daggers. You will want to do the right thing because you want me to learn to do the right thing. The rebellious tendencies of your youth will lessen as you understand the weight of your example on my life. Thank you for modeling what it means to be good and do good.
I will consume your thoughts. You will worry about me. Smiles or laughter will come to your face as you ponder my silly antics. Dating your spouse will be different. Try and make that time about you, but it’s OK to talk about me and bring me up once in a while. I am embedded in your heart and your mind.
I will teach you that you are not perfect. You may have thought you had this whole parenting thing figured out. Ha! You were wrong. Being imperfect is actually perfect. You teach me that I can be loved despite my flaws. It’s your imperfection that makes you real to me. It’s what sets you apart from the rest of the other moms and dads out there. It’s OK to admit when you are wrong and ask for forgiveness too. I’ll have grace with you. This is the first time you’ve done this parenting thing, and it’s the first time I have done this human thing. You don’t need to be that outdoorsy mom if that’s not you. You don’t need to have the Pinterest perfect birthday party if you like to celebrate in more simple ways. Don’t try to be like those other moms. You will begin to embrace the real you. Teach me to do the same.
You are going to love like you never experienced. Love is sacrificial. It is wanting the best for the other person. Please love your spouse first and best because that’s one of the most important ways you show your love to me. The love for me will be different than you have ever experienced before, and it will change you. It will make you be ferocious and papa or mama bear at times. It will send you into tears of joy and frustration. The emotions will be real and raw, and it will all stem out of the love you have for me.
Dear Mom and Dad, I am going to change you. Change isn’t easy. As the diamond is made into a precious jewel by the pressure it faces, so you too will reach new depths of beauty, strength, and character. Embrace the change, and thank you for transforming for me. You needed it. 😉