To my son;
My heart hurts for you. You deal with something that I can’t fix. No amount of research can help me help you with the anxiety that occasionally plagues you, and I wish I could snap my fingers and make it better.
You had an opportunity to go with your friend to an amusement park some time ago. You’ve never ridden a roller coaster, but you wanted to hang out with your friends. Up until the moment it was time to leave, you were excited.
And then anxiety took over. And fighting tears you told me you didn’t want to go.
And without you telling me, I knew what it was. I’ve watched you fight this over the years, and tried my hardest to give you the tools you need to work through these moments. I talked to your doctor about it, I did what research I could. . . and it all came down to me just having to monitor it.
Mostly you do well, and you deal with it and work through it.
But then there are times when you can’t. Times when it’s too much, when your smart brain tells you every single bad scenario that could occur.
And my heart hurt as you told me to make up a reason to tell them as to why you couldn’t go. . . not only do you deal with this, but you are also ashamed of it.
Nothing can describe the amount of failure I feel, knowing you go through these things, and you try (much like your mother) to not to show it.
It doesn’t matter that I tell you that you can always come to me, and that we do have an awesome parent/child relationship. These are things that one has to work through themselves.
All I can do is try to provide stability for you, and be here for you. You’ll come to me when it gets to be too much, just like you did that day.
Please always know this: you are amazing, and you’ve got this. You come from a long line of stubborn, strong willed people, a long line of intelligent people, a long line of people who don’t have it in them to quit when shit gets rough.
Please always know that your momma loves you with every ounce of who she is, and she will never ever not be here for you. I will never judge you, I will never make light of whatever you are going through. I too deal with my own anxieties, my own insecurities. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to take it away and make it better, and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for you.
And please know that you’ll always be my little boy, and you were there when no one else was to help pick me up and dust me off. You may not have known it, but for so many years you were the only reason I got up every day, you were the only reason I kept trudging through the bullshit. You have no idea how I looked to you for inspiration, and how you helped me through the roughest times of my life.
Now I have both you and your brother, and I’m blessed for having not just one, but two reasons to keep moving forward. But when life was the hardest, it was you that was there, Chase hadn’t come along yet.
I know the teenage years are rough, and I know that you’re dealing with hormones and that overly smart brain of yours is always working overtime; I know that the possibilities are endless for you, and that must be overwhelming. You should also know that I believe in you, and your ability to make the right choices. I’ve always told you that life doesn’t just happen, that shit doesn’t just fall into your lap, you have to work for it. But I also believe that things come your way because they’re supposed to, and that you’ll know your calling when it presents itself.
Until then, just please be a kid. Please stop worrying so much, stop trying to be an adult before it’s time. Talk with your friends, play with your brother, stay up too late (sometimes, not all the time!) playing video games. . . you don’t get this time back. Enjoy it while you can.
If you ever think you’re not strong enough, brave enough, good enough, know that you helped a grown woman get through the rough stuff, just by being you – your smart, funny, sarcastic, loving self.
That’s all you need in this life, child. Some brains, the ability to laugh it off, sarcasm to cut the bullshit, and love. With those things you can get through anything.
And when that isn’t enough, you got me.
You’ve got me, and I’ve got you, Matthew B. And together, there’s nothing we can’t get through. Even this.
Please note – this post was a draft from a couple years ago – we’ve mostly gotten through the anxiety, and Matthew is excelling and doing wonderfully, just like I knew he would. ❤️