In a phone conversation a few weeks before Mother’s day, your great aunt asked me what I wanted for you. More specifically, she wanted to know my thoughts, hopes, and dreams for you as you grow into manhood.
Upon first hearing the question, I didn’t know how to respond. But when I looked in my heart, and then thought about the countless times I rocked you to sleep, cleaned your wounds, and comforted your gentle soul, I knew right away that this question was a really easy one.
Right now, you’re a little guy, so you probably won’t understand the extent of my desires for your life as you grow older. And really, my wants for you will one day be the same as your own. This is how I know our spirits are aligned.
The fact remains that one day, I won’t be here for you. I won’t be around to hold you, kiss you, and make things feel right again. Those are the days where you’re going to miss me terribly, and will pray to God to bring me back to you – even if it’s for a moment to hold you – and I won’t be able to do it.
That’s when I want you to be strong, and use these life lessons. They will hold you when life feels unbearable. They will make you feel strong when you are too weak to take a step. And more importantly, they will make you realize that my love for you burns hotter than any living hell that you could ever walk through.
When you get old enough to understand, I want you to read this open letter, and internalize everything that I’m saying to you. Please remember these lessons, my son.
1. FIGHT FOR YOURSELF
We’ve had a tough year with your bully this year. Nothing broke me down further than to see you tell me that you were tired of fighting.
Son, there are going to be many people who will test you. They’re going to break you down to a level much lower than what you felt while dealing with your first bully. These people will stress you out, make you lose weight, and some will probably make you feel like you would want to take your own life. When you feel like that, it means that you’re still in the battle, and that means that you still have a chance to win the war. And I raised you to be a winner.
Son, whatever you do, don’t stop fighting for you until you’re satisfied with your win. Remember: you don’t have to put your hands on anyone to win a fight, but you must fight for yourself at all costs. You’re worth it.
2. NEVER ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS THAN WHAT YOU DESERVE
I don’t care how big her booty is, or how large the paycheck may be, don’t you dare accept copper when you’re more valuable than precious gems and pearls.
There will be plenty of people in your life who will disguise themselves as helpers. These people will piss on you, and tell you that it’s raining. I taught you to know the difference between the two. If you think you’re being played, you probably are. You don’t have to accept anything that doesn’t contribute positively to your life. Ever.
3. EVERYONE LOVES CHOCOLATE
Several months after you were born, your dad and I noticed that your skin was the color of a Hershey’s kiss, and it was just as sweet. Your skin made the angriest faces melt, and your sweet voice made hard hearts skip several beats.
Your chocolate colored skin is special, and I don’t want you to ever feel like it’s not. There will be people who will swear they hate chocolate, but that’s a myth. Everyone loves chocolate. They love the happiness it gives them, and how it makes them feel whole. That describes your magic down to the last morsel.
5. LISTEN TO THE GOD IN YOU
Son, one day you’re going to fully understand the glory of God. Or maybe you won’t believe in God, and will just accept the God in you. Whatever you choose to do with religion is not my choice, because I don’t have to walk a mile in your spiritual journey.
You’re going to call that voice many things, but momma knows that the voice you’re hearing is the God in you. Listen to that voice inside of you, son. When you’re lonely, listen to what that voice is telling you. When you’re sick, frustrated, nervous, or scared, allow that voice to lead you, and you will never go wrong.
That voice will lead you to your life’s purpose. That voice could help you to change the world, and I’m so ready to see how you’re going to do it. That’s how much your momma believes in you.
6. IF YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER IS A SACK OF CRAP, I’M NOT GOING TO LIKE THEM
You have to understand that I won’t like any person you’re dating or marrying if I feel like you deserve better. I know your heart, and what you can offer. I taught you to love hard, and to appreciate a person for the beauty of their soul. If you bring someone home who doesn’t reflect the same values, I’m not going to like them.
But I also want you to remember that I don’t have to date or marry them. You do. I don’t have to like anyone you date (unless your date is criminally dangerous, then I’m breaking that shit up).
I just don’t want to see you suffering in an empty relationship, or wondering why someone isn’t reciprocating your love when you deserve to be with someone who is going to walk to hell and back with you and for you.
But if you think you deserve to date or marry a sack of crap, then have at it. Just know that I’m not going to like it, and if they’re wanted by the FBI, I’m going to the the first one snitching.
7. YOU’RE NEVER ALONE
Every night when I listen to you talk about every mundane thing that happened in your first grade class, I want you to know that I’m not only listening to you, I’m connecting with you. My heart and spirit is aligning with yours.
When you finally yawn and fall asleep, I usually watch your face to see if I’ve made you feel less lonely. It always work. You look so happy and peaceful, and that makes me feel happy.
Son, when I’m gone, I don’t want you to feel alone. I want you to remember those times we were laying in bed talking about stuff. I’ve always carried you in my heart, but our spirits were aligned during those moments were we talked about everything from crayons, to God. You’re never alone.
8. CHOOSE LOVE
This world is filled with people who hate you because you’re alive. They don’t know that I taught you to feed someone who is hungry, to offer your last dollar when they are needy, or to give them the shirt off of your back when they need to be clothed. These people will hate you so much, and will probably never understand why.
Just know that it’s not your job to understand their hate, or to give them the same hate that they give to you. I want you to love them through their pain. And when you’re done loving them, spread more love.
They may not understand it, and that’s okay. Just know that love always wins.
I love you so much, and you’re always in my heart.