A Love Letter To My Son, Part 1

Dear Jacquai,

My aunt Cindy used to write letters to my cousin Sarah and myself on the inside covers of the picture books that she would give us for Christmas and birthdays. They always told us what we were doing, how wonderful we were, and her hopes for our futures. Sometimes I find myself opening those books and reading the letters again, laughing at how ridiculous we were, relishing in the innocence of childhood and wishing that I had done the same for you. So here is my first attempt at a love letter to you, my darling son, in honor of Valentine's Day:

You're six and a half now and in 1st grade. You lost your first two teeth last year and have four more loose right now. Sometimes I tell you that we'll have to blend up all your food soon because you won't have any teeth left to chew with and you really love that idea. Like hot dogs are going to taste even better pureed.

I saved the first tooth you lost, you don't know that of course, but I did. It's in a tiny envelope somewhere. I'm not sure why though, because honestly, I find the whole process of losing teeth a little disgusting and barbaric. And besides, I can't help but feel sorry for you because once kids lose their baby teeth, they grow those enormous ones, years before their faces are ready to fit them.

But that's how life goes, my son. You have to give up some little things now to make way for bigger and better things later, even if they don't seem worth it right away.

You're an awfully good kid, you know. Not once have you ever even considered peeing in the bathtub and you try very hard to be helpful. For example, here is a picture of you mopping out the refrigerator after you'd spilled spaghetti sauce all over it:

And here's the sign you made afterwards:

In case you can't read it, it says Do not go past this sign. You had left the kitchen very wet and very soapy and were concerned that someone might go in there and slip. And even though the only people who go in there are you, me and Sophie, The Cat, the gesture was so cute that I had to resist rubbing spaghetti sauce all over your head and eating you up.

You broke my heart though, not too long ago when you asked me very quietly from the backseat of the car, "Mommy am I disgusting?" Apparently there's a little girl in your class who's been bullying you and one of the things she says is that you're disgusting and you were concerned that it might be true.

It is true of course, because you're a boy and you're six, and darling, if you were anything but disgusting right now, I'd be truly disappointed. But of course, you don't want to hear that from another kid and I had to fight back every urge to march into your classroom and bend down in that little girl's face and yell "BE NICE TO MY SON OR YOU'LL BE SORRY!" Eventually, as it got worse, and you came home upset everyday, I called your teacher and asked her to please deal with it before I did. But, just so you know, I'm pretty sure that when I was in first grade, I was kind of mean to Ryan Shukis, and would bet anything that the words you, are, and disgusting slipped through my lips a time or two when talking to him, but the truth of the matter is that I didn't think Ryan Shukis was disgusting at all. Actually, I really just wanted to kiss him.

Not that it helps, I'm sure, knowing that a little girl might want to kiss you, because you're still convinced that girls are gross and that you will never want to do anything that involves kissing, hugging, or in any way interacting with one. You're okay with the idea of marriage and giving me grandchildren having kids someday, as long as it involves separate households and absolutely no physical contact. Which is alright with me because I know one day you'll change your mind about girls, but if it's not until after you've finished college and are on your way to a great career, it'll probably save everyone a lot of heartache. Either way, you're moving out of my house when you grow up because I refuse to to have a 35 year old son who lives in my basement.

Hear me? I. Refuse.

Which is why I've been trying to help you become a little less disgusting as of late. I suggested we get your hair cut and that perhaps you should shower more often. Both of these things were very hard sells. For some reason, you were really attached to all that hair, even though you hated how long it took to style each day, and even though it hurt to brush it and even though everyone called you Corbin Blue and you HATED that, still it took about a month to convince you to cut it, and what finally did it was promising you that you could watch Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban when we got home. And I have to tell you, a part of me is a little disappointed that you were willing to give up all this:

for a movie that you'd already seen fifteen times.

And you immediately regretted your decision.

But it's okay, my darling, hair grows back. You don't have to believe a lot of the things I say, but trust me when I tell you that, even after you cut it above your ears and accidentally dye it orange, your hair will grow back eventually. If you still don't believe me, ask your Auntie Em, she was there.

Jacquai, everyday I look at you and wonder how I ended up with such a wonderful little person in my life. How I could possibly have had anything to do with making something so perfect. And Jacquai, my hopes for your future are numerous. I hope that you'll grow up to be a kind, strong, and good man. I hope that you find love, because even though it hurts sometimes, the good always outweighs the pain. I hope that your heart never gets broken too badly and I hope you're never responsible for breaking someone else's heart. I hope that whatever you decide to do as a career, whether it's to become a Jedi knight, a baseball player, or a really powerful wizard, that you love it. And I hope that you wake up every morning for the rest of your life, happy to be alive.

Because, son, every time I look at you, I'm happy to be alive.


Your Mom