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A Parent’s Letter to Myself For When Our Boys are Teenagers

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Dear Self,
There are some things I need to remind myself when my boys are teenagers--in case I lose my mind in the next 13 years. I want to remember what sweet boys they are now. Yes, they try my patience constantly, and exhaust me emotionally and physically, but with an “I love you mama,” all frustration is erased. It is their precocious nature that is their spark—and I need to remind myself that it is a good thing.

We are blessed that they are smart boys—we can tell this already and they are just 3- and 1-year-olds. They each learned to talk easily, and they are physically adept. They both are stubborn as the day is long. They love to be outside. They love animals, especially our dogs. I want to remember good things about them so when they are incorrigible (like I was), I will have something to fall back on and reassure us that all our effort is worth it.

I want them to know what kind of a family they come from. Their Dad adores them, and takes such pride in his boys. I know this will only grow as they become involved in sports, and other activities. Daddy played soccer, and basketball. It kept him out of trouble while he was in school, because it helped him develop discipline. Mama played soccer too, was on the pom-pon squad, and worked, which helped her remain focused on her school work. Daddy now loves playing soccer and baseball with our boys in the basement. And even at their young ages, they show promise in being able to dribble a soccer ball, and throw and hit a baseball.

They love music like me, especially Luke. I hope he still loves to play instruments like drums, guitar, and keyboard. I never learned to use anything but my voice, so I hope he is driven to cultivate even more of an involvement in music. I want to remember how loves to create his own drums out of cookie tins and Frisbees, and would use straws as drum sticks. Nate loves to dance to all kinds of music, and weaves his body and squats in time to the music, just like I remember dancing in my parents' living room when I was 4 years old.

I hope that hearing things like this when they are disaffected youths will soften them and reassure them of our love, despite their angst.

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