The greatest compliment I ever received about being a mother came before Mr. Pants was ever born. I wrote about it here. It was my brother telling me that it was a good thing that I was having a boy. This post is inspired by that and by the recent convictions of two teenage boys in Steubenville, Ohio. I started thinking about the lessons I want to teach my son. How can I guide him so that he is a good man?
Oh baby boy, you are so small but you won't always be. In the blink of an eye you will be a man. It's so bizarre to think about that. But I have to. I have to because of the world we live in. I have to because it is my responsibility to teach you. It is your dad's responsibility to teach you. Because if we don't, someone else will and I don't trust them.
So we start now because there are things you need to know. There are rules you need to learn. And right now, even though you are only small, your brain is taking in information and sealing it. You are absorbing ideas. You are observing those around you and learning how to be. How to feel. How to act. You are already becoming your future self. I know that. And it's because I know that that I am making these promises to you.
* As you grow in this house you will see your mother and father be equal partners. I will speak my mind. You will no doubt see your father and I disagree over the years. But you will also see compromise. You will see forgiveness. What you will never see is your mother being less than your father. I promise.
* Before you were ever born and I chose your dad to spend the rest of my life with, I was cautious. I was careful. I chose a peaceful dad for you. You will never have to see or hear your father hurting your mother.
* I will teach you that you can be anything you want to be in this life but that it should never come at a the cost of your soul or on the backs of others.
* I promise that you will not be demeaned or purposefully made to feel less than. In this, I hope you will learn that all people deserve this basic respect. That you will learn to give it as you have received it.
* I will stand up for you. I will carry your flag. I promise that you will see me do this for others too. Please learn to do the same. Please become brave enough to speak up when you should. I will help you get there.
* Even when you do wrong, I will love you. But you will never think that I will wipe your wrong away. I will love you even when it means stepping back to allow you the consequences of your actions.
* I will talk about the hard stuff with you. And early too. We are going to do a lot of talking, dude. Me and you. Yes we are. Don't roll your eyes. It's important. So be ready.
* I promise to trust you to make the right choices. But to also be there to guide you when you don't. I will never abandon you. You can do this.
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