Dear Drew,

June 12, 2013

The other day you asked me why I am so mean to you, it made me think.

Sophomore year of college I was struggling to get around without a car. When I talked to my mom about it and how my high school car wouldn’t work going back and forth, she bought me a new car. I was so surprised that I didn’t have to get into a fight with her, beg, borrow or steal for it. It was the first time, when I was twenty years old, that I realized that my mom had always been on my side.

Growing up it’s a parents’ responsibility to push you, teach you about values, and discipline you. Parents have maturity, years of experience, and perspective that you as a child will not have for a very long time. And the whole time that we, parents, do this, we do it for you. We do it because we want you to grow up safely, we want you to become a productive member of society and we want everything that is best for you (even if it doesn’t always feel that way).

At times it feels like we are oil and water. When I think about it, I realize that it’s because we are so much alike. The things that bother me are sometimes the things that I battle with about my own self. Your fierce competition to be the best all the time is hard to manage but it’s also what will motivate you to do well in life. I see that same competitive nature in myself but in a thirty-two year old version. This is my first time being face to face with that side of me. I just pray that you learn to always channel that urge in a productive way, and keep it in its proper perspective.

This next year is a big year for you – for us. You start your first summer and real big kids’ camp. You go off to kindergarten in the fall. I get so caught up in keeping us going, that I sometimes forget how challenging these firsts can be. You were never the kind of baby, toddler or child who clinged to me. Just because you aren’t clinging, doesn’t mean that you aren’t struggling with these steps away from me like I am.

This year, as we both take this big step towards big boy world, I’m going to try to be the best mom for you. And that may mean that you think I’m being mean to you, but it’s only because I love you so much. It may take until you are twenty for you to realize that everything I do (well, almost everything) is because I love you.

Happy birthday to my big boy!

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