Parenting is Forever

I sometimes bring this letter forward from my archives because there seem to be a lot of people searching for letters to write to their own children.  Originally post March 29, 2011.

Dear Child of Mine,

Many of my thoughts of parenting represent hope for a better yesterday.

I was inspired by watching Maya Angelou tonight, and also propelled into the abyss of “I wish I…”

By now I recognize the disconnect between the parent I always wanted to be, thought I was being, and tried to be as opposed to the inexperienced, overwhelmed and under-informed parent I truly was.

Of course, I love you deeply and always have loved you.

And I wish I had spent less time worrying if your teeth were brushed and more time wondering if I was catapulting you toward being yourself.  I truly believed in your capacity for greatness but I didn’t comprehend how infinite greatness can be.  You had to teach me that.

I wish I had worried less about whether you were obedient and more about preparing you to question everything, to trust your instincts and understand your worth. Instead, in my insecurity, I loved it when you agreed with me and felt threatened when you argued for your right to your own opinion.  After all, didn’t I know best?  (Well…I wanted to know best.)

Actually, as you were moving into adolescence I was like a teacher who works late the night before preparing a lesson plan for the following day.  My parenting was based on a hodgepodge of information garnered from reading, listening and analyzing my own mistakes.

Most of all, though, I wish I had known and understood and loved myself so that I could have given you a the assurance of a place in the universe carved out especially for you; because I cherish the concept of instilling confidence and a sense of wholeness in you.  My soul speaks the language of letting go and of sending you from the warm glow of unconditional love into life lived in its fullness.

But my parenting hasn’t ended. So my hope isn’t really for a better yesterday, it‘s that as you continue to follow your own path you can hold on to my good lessons and discard my faulty ones.  And that you are watching as I am learning.  I know that you see my mistakes and cringe at the thought of making the same ones.   I also know that how I live my life now is a lesson in itself.  Sooner or later you’ll benefit from the positive changes in me.

My hope is for a better tomorrow…because we are in it together.



  1. What a powerful, thoughtful, wise and deeply introspective letter….I am a young mother and how much I have learnt in this one post you have written from years of learning and growing. Thank you! From one mother to another with love, Sharon


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