Dear Kadyn and Kai,
I always intended to write you each letters when I was pregnant, but those months flew by. I thought "maybe on your first birthdays," but those too have come and all too quickly gone. So, here I sit, no momentous milestone sparking the urge, but having an urge just the same. And maybe that's for the better; without a momentous milestone, you can understand how heartfelt this is.
When I was pregnant with both of you I would spend hours wondering what you were going to look like, smell like, feel like. I wondered what it would be like to hold you, to hear you cry, to see you smile. I spent hours wondering about the personalities you would develop, and the men that in a blink you'd become. I spent hours praying for you, for your friends, for your teachers, for each of your wives. The pictures that formed in my head during those 9 months were just bold outlines in a coloring book waiting to be filled in.
Of course I had/have many hopes and dreams for you. I had hoped you would never have to experience how harsh this world can be. But alas, Kadyn, you've already begun to experience that first hand at your preschool. I had hoped I would be a perfect mother to you, leading you, guiding you, but I've realized along the way that I'm not perfect, and that is okay. Nor do I expect perfection of you...just your best. I hope that you'll strive for your best every day, but not be too hard on yourselves on the days that doesn't come easily. I could go on and on...
But, the one thing that kept me from writing down all of my dreams and hopes for you was that I wanted you to create your own. I want you to fill in the pages of your coloring books with your own beautiful colors. Sure, I would love to influence what those are and become for you, but I also never want you to feel like you've failed me if you don't live up to my dreams for you. And yet, there is one thing that I feel a strong urge to convey. One thing that I hope you will always know, and always remember. One thing that I hope with all hope and pray with every prayer.
I hope you always know how much we love you.
Much of the world sees loves as:
A strong affection for one another arising out of kinship or personal ties; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.
Definition received here
But I would also like to include how God models love in 1 Cor 13:4-8a:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but it rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Verse received here
Oh how I try to be patient. It can be so hard to be kind all the time. Sometimes I want to scream and cry out, and sometimes I do. And for this I am truly sorry.
Love is unconditional.
In my line of work I hear all too often "I love you, but..." I love you but you're driving me crazy. I love you but if you continue to do that we'll have to kick you out. I love you but I hate the way you're acting. I love you but I can't stand...
To your daddy and me, there are no buts to our love. We love you both equally and whole-heartedly. Nothing will ever change that no matter what. Please don't mistake this for an excuse to do whatever you want; there are always consequences for ill choices. We may not love some of the choices you will choose to make, but your choices do not have to define who you are. Nor will they define our love for YOU. Ill choices aside, you are you.
And I vow to always separate out my love for you and my dislike for your ill choices. I love you Kadyn. I love you Kai. That will never change.
So, instead of a but, I would rather think of it as "I love you and..." I love you and I always will. I love you and I hope that through the harshness of this world you can also find glimmers of beauty. I love you and I love you so much that I will establish boundaries and consequences. I love you and one day, when you're ready to launch I will release you, trusting that we've helped raise you in a way to know that you're leaving with your very best wings to soar with. I love you and there is nothing you can do that will make me love you any less. Nothing. I love you and even after you launch I will still be loving you the same as I did the day you were born, the same as I did the first time you said Mama, the same as I did the day you took your first steps, the same as I did/will your first day of school, the same as I will on the first day you...no, I take that back...I will love you even more because every day that goes by, my love grows exponentially for you both.
I love you my sweet boys, yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever...unconditionally. No buts.
Readers: If you made it all the way through that letter, thank you.