10.06.2014

the post about the person my toddler chooses to spend the rest of his life with

I spend a lot of time thinking about the person you will settle down with. Is that weird? Probably, but I am the mom who is already secretly working on your fourth birthday party decorations even though you just turned three so, hey, nothing is really all that weird to me. (I'll also pretend like I'm not already busy brainstorming your 5th birthday party, either.) I'm vehemently opposed to the creepy societal opinion that I should be laid up in bed sobbing about my boy leaving me for another (and don't get me started about the "dads control their daughter's sexuality with promises of a toted shotgun" garbage that everyone finds cute and endearing). I hope that you get to experience many relationships, although maybe with a little less abandon than I did before meeting your father. I mean, date away, dear boy, but take with you the understanding of what a healthy relationship entails. Know how to respect, know how to be respected. Know your worth, know the worth of the person who you're in said relationship with. If we have to have the "but mom, this heroin dealer is the right one for me and I'm 14 so I know what I'm talking about more than you do" fight, fine -- but remember that everyone is deserving of love, including yourself and, well, on second thought maybe you should get your teenage dating guidelines from your father. I'm sometimes surprised I lived to see 15. Anyway, forgetting your teenage years (which already make me cringe in fear), my point is, I think a lot about the person you will settle down with.

I wonder if the one will find you early in life, like your father and I found one another at fifteen years old, or if the person will come to you later on. I wonder what will attract them to you -- a shared interest, an extracurricular activity, a night out with friends and your eyes catch one another in passing. I wonder what they will do and what places they will take you to. I wonder if they will be like me or if loving them will take a world of effort for me because we couldn't be more different and I'm not very good at adapting. But let me stop there. I want to promise you that I will love them.

You see, Ethan, I will love anyone who loves you. We will always share that underlying connection: we will both love you. So long as this person loves you, so long as they respect you, I will be grateful. I want you to know that you never have to hide your love from me and that I will be your biggest cheerleader. Your love story will be my favorite love story. I will be that batty woman showing your wedding photographs to everyone I come across or, so be it, the one defending your decision to not get married. If your rights to be married are robbed from you, my love, I will be fighting for you harder than I've fought for anything else in this world.

I want you to know that love is beautiful. That all these years later I can still feel the pitter-patter in my soul that I felt when I first saw your father. I want you to feel that. I want you to feel that without obstacles or heartache.

I do this all of the time. "What if Ethan brings home a Republican?" "What if Ethan brings home someone who likes rap music?" "What if Ethan brings home someone who likes guns and...and...wrestling?" I have my three seconds of horror. I breathe. And then I say "I will love them if he does." It takes a lot of effort to love people who aren't like us. It takes a lot of acceptance to be able to realize that we can love people who are fundamentally different than us. The thing is, I'm willing to try. And I promise you that whoever you love, whoever loves you, I will love them. Your love is the greatest honor anyone can receive and, anyone you deem worthy, I deem worthy as well.

I want you to know that if you decide to start a family, I will stop at nothing to be a part of it. I will rearrange my life in any way that I can to be a part of it. I wonder sometimes if you will have children and, if so, if they will look like you (I also want you to know that I love them already, your future kids). I wonder about these things because I've been practicing my role of World's Greatest Mother In Law since the day you were born. You, to me, are everything good in this crazy world and I am protective, of course. I joke-but-am-only-sort-of-joking about wanting to keep you in a bubble forever and when you fall and hit your knee I think I feel a little bit of my soul dying. It would be easy for me to say "no one is good enough for my son" but the truth is, if someone respects you, if someone loves you -- what more could I want? If your heart has chosen their heart, my sweet boy, they are more than good enough. They are a perfect fit.

What an honor it is to have your love -- both me and the person you choose to spend your life with -- and I am never going to lose it or take it for granted. Being worthy of your love is perhaps the greatest honor there is.

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