Tuesday, March 22, 2016

an open apology letter to my children

Grandma loves to watch videos Grandpa took of our family when Uncle Luke and I were kids. Grandma has shown some of them to you, do you remember seeing on the TV when Mommy was little? 
Well, one time when I was a bigger girl, our family was sitting around watching a video that was mostly of me, because I kept dancing in front of the camera to take away the view of Uncle Luke, and I asked Grandma, "why didn't you slap me more often? I was so obnoxious!"
Grandpa about fell out of his chair laughing and spoke up, "because your mom wouldn't let me!" Despite the LOOK Grandma gave to Grandpa, we all had a good laugh and kept on watching the Katie show, trying to sneak glimpses of Luke between my dance moves.
When Mommy went to high school, I took a health class and we watched a movie called the Miracle of Birth which showed how babies are made and born. During the birthing scene, the teacher repeatedly rewound and fast forwarded the tape so that the on-screen doctor appeared to push the baby in and pull it back out of the mother over and over. It was awful! After class that day, I declared I would never give birth (traumatized by the health class video!) and never have kids (remembering the home movies Grandma showed me, I just knew that any child of mine would also have my boundless, annoying energy!) and I stuck by that statement even as I got older. 
The summer I was eighteen, the parents of a family I had consistently babysat for since I was eleven decided to go away to Paris for two weeks and asked if I would stay with their three girls. I agreed and at the end of those two weeks, even though the kids and I got along fine and had no major issues, the difference between a few hours and two weeks was staggering to me and I recommitted myself to not raising children! 
And then two months later I met your Dad ... 
Kids, you have the best daddy in the world, and as we got to know each other first as friends, then fell in love, and decided to be a family together, I knew that I could get past my fears and other feelings about being a mother if he was the father to my children. But even with the best daddy imaginable by my side, I have often failed to be the mother you deserve. My immature fears and feelings from my teenage years sometimes seep back into my heart and selfishness takes over. Please forgive me. 
Instead of enjoying you as beautiful gifts from the LORD, I sometimes watch the clock until daddy comes home from work. And instead of making each day count, I admit I have been counting down the days until I could send you both to school and there was hope of some "freedom" for me. 
I love you, Leila-girl. I love you, BoBo. I'm so thankful I get to be your mommy. Forgive me for the times I have forgotten how special and fleeting is this time we have together before you're grown up.  Forgive me for the opportunities I have missed in these first years. I know I can't make up the time lost, but please allow me to try. Let this blessing of homeschooling be a fresh start for us. 

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