An Open Letter To Anyone Who Has Ever Thought It A Nuisance: I’m Not Sorry

 

Why would I apologize to you?

For loving my children.

For being proud of them.

For being the most stunning creatures I’ve ever laid eyes on. For being the best, more than I ever expected, most incredible enhancement to my life. Something so spectacular, I could have never dreamed up better.

Why would I apologize to you?

For loving my children.

For being amazed with each new day I am given to see them grow and change and dazzle me.

For being so enamored with each tiny feature, each huge or seemingly insignificant milestone, each innocent point of view- like when they think they’ve learned something they believe I’ve never heard of, so I quietly play along. For learning, as it turns out, that each day they do teach me, something new about myself. For being compelled to capture each moment, as proof for my heart once my memories fade, that every incredible moment with them meant something profound in my life.

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Why would I apologize to you?

For sharing my overflowing pride for them through pictures and words and stories, about the perfect beauty of these sweet young creatures, who with their innocent, unknowing lessons, change me daily into a better person. I share because I must try, I suppose, to substantiate what often feels like a dream. So the world can see what I see. How an illogical, but absolute perfection came from an imperfect me. I am in constant, unwavering awe that I was given someone so important to look after and teach, and am dumbfounded at all the ways they end up teaching me instead.

Why would I apologize to you?

Because you think I share too much? Boast too often? Capture the inconsequential? Clog too much of your coveted space? Am in some way too awestruck in love with my children for your personal comfort level or timeframe? Ask a parent who has lost a child what is too much? Or ask a person longing to find out about this love who can’t.

Why would I apologize to you? Instead I will say this-

I am so, so sorry for your soul. If you have never felt the love for a child that goes deeper than the very marrow in your bones, I am so incredibly sorry for that void in your body and in your soul. It is like you are vitamin deficient for the most important vitamin that cures all. This love for a child is a kind that is a lifeblood; it is the oxygen that breathes air into the blood running through me, causing my heart to keep beating.

There is a reason parents often say they would die for their children. The simple truth is, once you’ve known that kind of life-giving love, your body would rather die than try to go on living without it.

If you are a parent and you expect some apology from those of us who write this letter; if you expect us to filter, to tone down, to limit, to change to suit you, then I truly feel the sorriest for you. Your soul is most certainly lost. Your priorities are so far opposing my own, that there are not enough words to ever tie a string of understanding between them. We should just go our separate ways now and I will keep a lit candle in my heart for your child’s soul.

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Why would I apologize to you?

As a mother, my children will always be my crowning achievement. As a human being, I have many others, but none will ever compare to being a good mother to four perfect souls. Yes, they are still young and still all live under my roof. And yes they take up nearly every second of my waking hours, and occasionally in my dreams, some of my sleeping ones. And yes, they make me weary, and sometimes a little crazy. The days can feel long, but the years I can attest, pass in a blink. I am not a parent who pictures my life someday free from some imaginary shackles of parenthood’s day to day obligations. Of a point in this journey when I can get “back to me.” To spend quality time on myself by traveling, discovering what its like to have spare bedrooms full of books rather than toys, or take up some hobby to otherwise attempt to re-define myself. No. For me, parenthood is a forever definition, not a phase or a trend I’ll grow out of. And for me, once my oldest sons leave the nest, my days will still be consumed with motherhood for quite a while longer. After my youngest eventually go, I will likely be approaching or already at the next chapter- grandparenthood. Regardless of what may wait for me along my parenting journey, as I watch my children grow, each of their unique hearts and their happiness will always continue to be my greatest life’s work.

So why would I apologize to you?

The souls of my children were placed in my hands the day they were; perfect, untroubled, and untarnished. To raise up, to ensure that they thrive in this life. I am perpetually honored and struck with this revelation. In fact, I am driven by it; to do my very best with this bigger than life honor each and every day I have with these perfect creatures, who I am all to aware, will inevitably become imperfect someday too. Its a long important road, this parenting. Many days you might see my elation over their triumphs, other days you will see me fail miserably while trying to make the best of things. But every day I want the world to see my unwavering pride for my children. Its a tough job, raising other people. It’s daunting, because it carries with it the biggest outcome, and sometimes we parents just want to share our experiences. For comfort, for guidance, for comradery. Sometimes yes, some of us tend to go overboard, get our goals mixed up, while just trying to make sense of it all. We don’t intentionally mean to intrude or trample over your precious time or personal space. But the truth of it is, I love my children more than I will ever love your personal comfort level. I am not thinking about you when I show my love for them. When I cater to their tears in public, or try to diffuse their tantrums. When I brag about their sports achievements online to my “friends,” or show off their toothless grins and first days of school. When I am just madly, deeply, hopelessly in love with these stunning creatures I’ve helped create. The saying, It takes a village should really be applied to the parents, not the children. Us parents are often just looking for others to raise us up, acknowledge our efforts, our struggles, our joys, without condemnation. If you can’t understand that, it is your complete and utter loss. Do I intend to harm you? Annoy you? Belittle you? Or in any way take any thing from you with my love for my children? Of course not. A love for a child is anything but a selfish kind of love. I am looking out for them, not you.

So why would I apologize to you?

For loving my children.

If I have to apologize to anyone, it is to our children for this hardened world we’ve left for them, a place where they will someday raise their own. We sit idly by apologizing for our joys, and our failures, played out before each other. We sit back ashamed of showing too much of ourselves, and watch our world being overrun by opinionated, callous, often heartless individuals always poised and ready to point out our flaws. Many who find power and build walls behind screens and comparisons. A world that has grown to covet personal space and privacy, over community and sharing in the joys of each other. I understand we all deserve privacy in this look at me society, and the stripping down of it by technology, has left many of us with an overdose of other’s people’s lives. I realize that it is unrealistic to think the world will ever live as one big happy, loving family. I see that celebrity is celebrated, while celebrating the genuine joys of our neighbors is discouraged. I get that we aren’t required or encouraged to take on each other’s triumphs or burdens. And perhaps it’s presumptuous of me to assume you will ever accept my active love for my children, as anything but encroachment into your space. I get that you wish that I would just keep my happiness quiet, in the ever-expanding wave of cultural entitlement, out of respect for your own. But this is my letter. I obviously see my point of view before understanding yours. You are welcome to write your own.

Why would I apologize to you?

Four of my greatest treasures in this life are my children. My riches lie in the opportunity to tend to the upbringing of their hearts until they understand how to do so on their own; and then, because I am a mother, I will continue still. They are the well from which I draw so much of my happiness and entirely, my purpose. The reason I tell you this here, is because I am forever in search of inspiration from others, who also see the importance of a child’s heart; to help replenish that well, so my children’s will always be full. I will never apologize for that. If you’d rather keep your heart confined, private, respected by being closed off to the village that wants you to share in our journey, by limiting your own happiness at the expense of extinguishing others, then that is your choice. If you choose to diminish my parenthood journey at every opportunity that I try to let you in, out of a sense of entitlement of your right to, then kindly exit my world. There’s plenty more lessons in this life to teach my children, and you will just be one more.

Why would I apologize to you? Ultimately, I am sorry for you, not to you. I hope one day with more love, your heart grows bigger than it is, because I know it is capable of so much more. As a parent, I wish that for every lost child.

With love and hope,

A parent who will never apologize.

 

 

If you are not afraid of who might disagree with you, condemn you, or simply find you a nuisance; share this letter in hopes that it might encourage others who might find it useful in their parenting journey too.

 

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