You’re sleeping in your crib beside me now, so I write you this letter to share a few things I’ve learned in life. I know the day will come when you’re too big to sleep on my shoulder, and you’ll shy away from my hugs and kisses. The day will come when I have to accept that you aren’t this little boy I adore, but the man I adore. One day, my son, when you are the man I hope you’ll be, please do your mom a favour. Not a big favour, just something I want you to see for yourself. Take a trip out to the lighthouse one evening, and watch a sunset. Then take a trip one morning, and watch a sunrise. See? Not that bad, just want you to sit and watch.
The first part of the favour – the sunset. Living on a tropical island, we do have some of the best sunsets in the world. Breathtaking is the best way to describe when the sun slowly dips below the horizon and lights up the sky in pinks, purples and oranges, eventually giving way to the darkness of the night. As beautiful a sight as it is, I’ve found a slightly different appreciation for them. Every sunset brings to close yet another day in our lives. Another day I’ve been able to see you grow and discover new things. Another day that we’ve been able to share. It means that your bedtime bath and bottle are coming up, and we get to fight the battle of will that is bedtime. It means we get to see who really falls asleep first, after the lullabies and the stories. It means when you’re fussy that you curl up in bed beside me and I watch over you as you hog the bed. It means I have my reminder to be grateful for our countless blessings.
The sunset may not have the same meaning to you, but I hope there is one thing you will take with you. Use the sunset as your reminder to be grateful for your blessings. You never know what the morning will bring, tomorrow is promised to none. No, I’m not trying to be grim or even guilt you into it, it’s just the way life works. That brings me to part two, the sunrise. That promise of tomorrow is fulfilled with every one, and our island has some great sunrises too. For every sunrise, there is a brand new day. Even though some days feel like forever and others feel too short, no two are the same. Are you going to stand on your own today, maybe even take a step? What new food should we try and will you like it? What mischief are you going to get up to today? What challenges lie ahead? These questions usually aren’t answered until the sunset, but at that moment, the answers don’t matter. What matters is that you are there to see it. And when you see it, you’re grateful for the opportunity for second chances, but more importantly, new beginnings. Something new happens everyday and most of the time we’re just too busy or preoccupied to notice it. Whether you notice it or not, be grateful – not everyone has this opportunity, make the most of it.
Now I’m sure by now you’re thinking that mom has had a little too much time on her hands, but that’s not really the case – you are a handful It’s really more a case of looking at the world around us, our family and friends, and knowing that this is the world you’ll be raised in. You have lots of people around who love you and care for you. You are an incredibly blessed man, from even before you were born. I look at our life now and what I hope it will be, and the only thing that matters is not what you will become, how much money we have, where we live or who your friends are. The only thing that matters is that you appreciate the love and the blessings and are grateful. In doing so, my son, you’ll become a man. Not just because you’re of legal adult age, but because you are kind to people who can do nothing for you and grateful for the ability to be able to help. I hope you find real love, and know how to care for and be cared for by that love. I hope you find the balance in life between your wants and needs, that you realize that every decision you make has a consequence. I hope you know that you may not be the only one affected by your decisions and that the right choice is not always the easy choice. I hope you know that I’m not perfect, I’ve made my mistakes and even though I may seem unfair at times, I’m only trying to do the best for you.
There are so many things I hope for you, and by now you’ve probably heard me ramble on about these things over and over. I hope one day when you are that man, you’ll understand that your cranky, scatterbrained mom loves you above all else and simply wants you to be happy. When you feel lost and the weight of the world is upon you, just remember to be grateful for the sunrises and sunsets. Remember my son, in life there are times to be selfish, but never a time to be ungrateful.