I looked into my son’s eyes wondering what he was thinking. Most people see him as a young man who is “odd” or “different” even though he appears to be a typical young man. I know him as my 23-year-old son with blue eyes and pale skin, whose life has included a treadmill of specialists supporting his perfectionistic, passionate mother who longs for him to know and believe he is valuable and treasured on this earth.
Sometimes, when I stop and realize my efforts have become more about fixing Jon than loving him well, I stop, reflect, and remember God calls me to love Jon, not “fix” Jon.
So today, I’m back at ground zero . . . reminding myself to be the mom my son needs, not the mom I think I should be.
Today I’m giving up my “wish list.” I will not wish for a
“Different or better” you
“Very healthy” you
“Smart and talented” you
“Normal-looking or acting” you
“If only” you
Today, I will love you as you are, not as I think you “should” or “could” be.
I will laugh out loud with you because this world needs a lot more laughter and a lot less worry.
I will build a tent out of old sheets and blankets, held up by books and chairs. I will let you hold the flashlight as I read your favorite book to you again and again and again.
I will hold your hand in public . . . at age 3 and 23 and 43 and, if God allows, at 63 because there’s nothing so real as a warm hand, open heart, and forgiving, authentic soul.
I will watch as you struggle to be noticed, “seen,” loved, and accepted; allowing myself to cry because don’t we all long to be noticed, seen, loved, and accepted as we are.
Once again, today I am going to remember that you and I are no different in that we are doing our best to show up, to smile, and to live connected in this divided, harsh world.
I love you for teaching me what it’s like to be a real person saved by grace, loved by God.
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