My oldest son is sixteen and has reached a very frustrating time in both our lives. My continued responsibility to be his parent and his new found taste for independence, these two things often clash. In spite of our strong bond we are in constant struggle with each other from school decisions, to how to date, curfew times, calling home if he's going to be late, helping around the house, attending family outings and everything else. So I have decided to write a letter.
To My Teenagers;
I am your parent. From the moment you were conceived I took on the most important job of my life; to protect yours. I take this job very seriously. I protected you for nine months inside of me. I went to the doctor regularly and did everything he told me to. My feet swelled, my back ached and I was uncomfortable pretty much all the time. It was worth it the entire time to hold you in my arms as a little bundle of joy. On that beautiful birthday I made a contractual heart agreement with you:
From this day forward I will offer you the best of what I have to offer and I will do whatever I can to ensure that reach adulthood without permanent harm. This means that by the time you are twenty (yes twenty, not eighteen) you are addiction free, child free, disease free and with no criminal record; prepared to enter the workforce to support yourself and your future family; you know exactly who God is and why you worship him or can explain in detail why you don't. I will be hard when I need to be and set firm rules in place. This is to protect you. I will be soft when you are hurt. I will kiss your scratches and hold your hand in the ER. I will hold you when your heart gets broken and help it heal to be given away to someone more deserving than the last.
I know you think that I am unreasonable or too old fashioned. I know you think you can conquer the world with a thought. The truth is I knew everything once too. Then I grew up to realize I didn't know half of what I ought to know. But I take this job very seriously. I do it because I love you more than life. I also know that I am raising you to give you away to someone else. I want you to be prepared to be a good employee, a good husband and a good father. I want you to be able to give your children more than I can give you. Because while I do not want grandchildren right now, when they do come I will love them and want the best for them too. Then you will understand what I say today.