Dear Logan,
 
You know all of your ABC’s by sight recognition and can recite your numbers 1-10.  You say almost anything we ask you to repeat and you speak in full sentences.  You climb up and down steps like a pro and your throwing arm is impressive.  Independence is your middle name. Granted, these are huge accomplishments in and of themselves, but none mean as much to me as how sweet, caring, and gentle you are to others. 
 

 
Toddlers are frisky by nature; you have your moments. You are rambunctious and strong willed. At the same time, your sweetness and amazement at the little things in life is what makes me smile the most. Raindrops and trees, the falling leaves and the moon—all of these things are such wonders to you. 
 
 
I’m so proud of the person you are becoming.   I hope that you continue to be strong willed and independent yet appreciate the small things in life as well.   If you can be all of these things, your life will be happy and full of love.  What more could a mother ask for her son?
 
I look at you each and every day with such awe.  This little baby that snuggled into my neck for months has quickly become his own little person.   You still depend on your Daddy and I for things, yes.   I hope you always understand that you have us for this reason. However, you are quite comfortable stepping outside of your box wherever we go. 
 
 
Some may think that we are letting you be TOO free.   Daddy and I believe quite the opposite.   You are very well behaved and considerate of others.   As long as you aren’t stepping over that boundary, this freedom is how you are learning.   I’ve watched you as you learned to stand, crawl, eat, walk, run, jump, talk, sing and dance. The pride in your little eyes when you learned to jump?   I’ll never forget that all of the days of my life.
 
 
Last Friday there was a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Several little children and staff were killed in this shooting.   This very day, there was a brutal knife attack on an elementary class in China.   I held you closer that day and I have every day since. 
 
I can’t begin to imagine the pain those parents are feeling.   Knowing that their child’s last moments were of sheer terror?   Knowing that their mama and daddy couldn’t be there at that moment to hold them tightly?   It’s beyond my comprehension.   Never hearing you call my name again or being able to see your smiling face?   That is the worst thing that my heart can fathom.   The most frightening thing of all is that it could happen to anyone, anywhere.
 
 
This world isn’t always as beautiful as you now believe it to be.   This world has so much evil and craziness—worse than I could have ever thought possible.   But along with this ugliness, there is great love. There are good people and great spirits. There is love and kindness. There is happiness.   My hope for you is that you always try to see the good and to thrive on that. 
 
Granted, there will be times when these things are difficult to see.   There will be times when you feel that there is no good left in this world.   Remember that with all of the evil and wrongdoings in the world, there is also good.   Try to see the good in all things. Try to BE the good in this world.   Don’t ever let anyone take that from you. 
 
Your heart is pure and your intentions are as well.   So long as you hold onto that, these things cannot change who you are.   They will try.   They will try to tear you down and break your spirit.   There will be people that will try to pull the worst out of you.   Don’t let them change who you are.   Be proud of the person that you know yourself to be.   Hold onto your hope.   Lean to God in all you do, every day of your life.   He will give you the strength you need.   I pray that you always remember that.
 
 
There is great fear that comes along with such tragedy.   It’s even hard right now for me to remember that things will get better.   It’s not always easy.   Sometimes it seems next to impossible.   It isn’t.   It’s at those times you have to look harder.   You have to reach within yourself and remember that love is greater than fear.   It always is.
 
I hope for you great happiness.  I hope for you love.  I hope for you to always see that in the face of adversity…people draw together.  It’s what we do.  There is beauty in that. Try to always find this in every situation.   This? This is the love of God shining in you.
 
 
This is the truth of something bigger than all of the wickedness.  Keep your heart guarded and always let others see how beautiful yours is, Logan.  Your heart is the greatest treasure.
 
I love you always.
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