Monday, February 6, 2012

Dear Aiden: We're Sorry

“Parenting, I’ve come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that’s all there is.

“ ~Emily Rapp

Dear Aiden,

We took you to your second basketball game and given the success of your last practice, we were pretty excited and hopeful that you would enjoy yourself. You had a great time for about the first five minutes and then you mopped around, told us you were tired and your dad and I even dragged you to each side of the court during the minutes you “played.”

It was exhausting and frustrating for us and I’m sure, even more so for you. We went home and your father and I talked for the next half an hour to hour about what to do with you. The truth is raising you is such a challenge sometimes because you are our first child and this whole parenting business seems to be a daily minute-by-minute evolution of immense joy and happiness coupled with never-ending struggles, frustration and confusion.

But the one thing we know is we want to parent you with love. Loving you in the present. In the now. However, the difficult part of that is there always seems to be an undistinguished line of love, individual to each child, individual to each parent, on the agreement of the perfect concoction of tough love and gentle guidance.
Sweet boy, where do we draw the line?

The unfortunate truth (to your basketball-loving parents) is that you hate basketball. You are more of the sensitive, introspective and artistic type. You don’t like the spotlight, the pressure, chaos and group involvement of basketball. Your dad and I know that. Actually, we’ve always known that. So why are we forcing you to be someone we know you’re not? It makes absolutely no sense.

You don’t defy authority. You listen to us quite respectfully (for your age) and there have been many people who have complimented your demeanor, politeness and behavior. You make me so proud to be your mama over and over again. But you don’t listen to us or anyone at basketball because you hate it and the reality is basketball is simply not worth the struggle or fight. It’s just a game. There will be many things your father and I will be strongly stubborn on in regards to you but this will not be one of them. This is not a battle that needs to be fought.

We’re sorry for forcing you to be and do something you never desired in the first place. We’re sorry for trying to mold you into something you aren’t. Although, your father and I have agreed that you should finish and complete the season, we will never force you in a sports team again.

We love you and we desire so strongly to simply just love you as the person you are. We’re human and we’re imperfect; thus, to love you as perfectly as we want often falls short of our ideals. It is a given that you will grow and change vastly over the years but we vow to love you more in the present and accept you for who you are today. For who you are now. And that, I hope equates to the kind of childhood and the kind of parents you will remember with sweet fondness in the years to come.

With the Greatest of Love,

Your Mommy

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