I Can't Hold Your Hand Forever
A Letter to My Child:
For as long as I could, I tried to protect you from the world. But when we were ready and I started to let go, a little at a time, knowing it was best for you, even when my heart broke a little.
As you got older, I would hang back in the periphery and watch you make choices. We took baby steps together to help you grow. I let you figure things out knowing that one day I wouldn’t be there to guide you anymore. While I hope you will always come to me with the big things, your day is made up of a series of choices that you make for yourself from the moment you wake until I tuck you into bed.
You’re gone from me most days for more hours than we’re together. I hope I’ve prepared you for what you’re going to find out there.
But in case you need me, here are a few reminders to take with you.
Always be kind. Remember how it feels to be left out or sad and look for the kids that are. Be inclusive even when it’s not easy. Make it a choice until it becomes an instinct.
Don’t follow the crowd. It’s always okay to do your own thing. Sometimes doing the right thing will mean you have to go it alone and when you do, remind yourself God is with you and that you are never really alone even when it feels like you may be.
Respect adults but know that they’re human too. Yes, you should listen to them, but just like us they may make bad decisions sometimes, and you need to stay alert, to let others know, to not ever just blindly follow anyone.
Above all, family. I don’t care how mad you are at your siblings, you always watch out for them. If they ever look out at a sea of faces of people who don’t care all that much, and you catch their eye, you’ll be able to convey with one look that you’ve got their back.
It may not be obvious now, but one day, you will realize you see things differently than other people and the only people who understand will be the ones who grew up the exact same way you did. You take your family for granted until something shows you how important they are.
Let me tell you now… where you came from and this family bond can be more powerful than any friendship but all relationships need to be nurtured. Even siblings.
I wish I could shield you from the troubles of this world forever, but because I can’t, I chose instead to arm you with love, hope and a deep sense of self. Stay true to those three things and you will be fine.