I may have met you already, perhaps not.
You are the one who will whisk him away, create a life with him, a family a home. You are the one that will find his lost wallet, hear his frustrations at the end of the day and his excitement in the morning. You will be the keeper of his heart and the love that he builds his life around. You are what I want for him … a partner, a best friend, a love, a co-parent.
Since the day I found out my son would come to be I have cringed–both inwardly and outwardly–at the quote “A daughter is a daughter all her life but a son is a son ’till he takes a wife”. It hurts, honestly, down to my bones. But here’s the thing … it’s partly true. It’s true that I won’t be his soft place to fall–at least not all the time — but it’s also true that I want that for him. I want him to create his own life, his own family, his own purpose and why in this world. It’s also true that I want to be a part of it.
I want you to expect excellence from him in all things. From the way he treats the waitress at a restaurant to the way he potty trains your puppy to the way he asks for forgiveness when he disappoints you. Expect the same from yourself.
I want you to expect he apologizes when he is wrong, I have taught him to say he’s sorry. Take that apology with the gravity it is intended. Expect the same from yourself.
I want you to take time for your girlfriends, for your family, for your career and goals and dreams. Encourage him to go fishing with his brothers or hunting with his friends, take chances in his career, bust after his dreams
I want you to demand respect from him in all things: your body, your mind, your goals, your ideas. Expect the same from yourself.
I want you to expect him to be honest, to be forthright with his thoughts and actions. Do not accept less. Expect the same from yourself.
Do not allow him to manipulate you or twist your words. Fight fair. Because you will fight. Expect the same from yourself.
I want you to love him. Really, really love him with all that you have. I want you to love him despite the fact that he loses his temper, or is frustrated with work or the new dent in the wall. I want you to love him when he’s sick, when he’s tired, when he’s irritable and when he’s less than you deserve. Expect the same from him.
Give him grace when he needs it. Expect that from him.
I want you to call him on his bullshit. There will be plenty. Expect him to to do the same for you.
Expect him to tell you when he’s made you proud. You will do that a lot. When he’s made you proud? Tell him. He will make you proud, a lot.
Expect to be his partner, his equal.
Make him laugh. He’s beautiful when he laughs. When he laughs, laugh with him. You are also beautiful when you smile.
Do not allow him to take advantage of you, your love, your kindness or your generosity of spirit. Expect the same from yourself
Expect him to be kind. Be kind in return.
Ask for help when you need it. Give help willingly when he requires it. We come into this world completely dependent on others, it is a fool’s errand to believe we can make it through this life without help.
Forgive him when he asks for it. Expect the same of him
Expect him to lead you when you need it, expect the same of yourself. David Whyte, one of my favorite authors penned the quote: “Courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive.” You will be tested. Rise together.
I want you to walk into my home without knocking, to open a bottle of wine and plop yourself down on my couch and tell me about your day.
I want you to show up on my porch when the baby won’t stop crying, you can’t stop crying and you need someone to take care of you, too.
I want you to ask my opinion when it comes to getting the grass stains out of knees and how to make his favorite birthday cake or what books to read when you are expecting. And I want you to do it all your way, no matter what my advice may be.
Love him well. And remind him to call his momma.
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Lara Alspaugh loves to use words to make sense of her boy crazy world on her blog, Confessions of a Daughterless Mother. She’s inspired by nightly walks with her husband and Labrador Lulu, reading, writing, spending time with her boys, going to the beach and dreams of traveling to Italy. Her first novel, “Last Turn Home” is available on Amazon. You can follow her blog and book news on Facebook and Instagram as well as her website laraalspaugh.com.