An Open Letter to the Other Woman




I may have met you already, perhaps not.

You are the one who will whisk him away, create a life with him, a family a home. You are the one that will find his lost wallet, hear his frustrations at the end of the day and his excitement in the morning. You will be the keeper of his heart and the love that he builds his life around. You are what I want for him ... a partner, a best friend, a love, a co-parent. 

Since the day I found out my son would come to be I have cringed--both inwardly and outwardly--at the quote "A daughter is a daughter all her life but a son is a son 'till he takes a wife". It hurts, honestly, down to my bones. But here's the thing ... it's partly true. It's true that I won't be his soft place to fall--at least not all the time -- but it's also true that I want that for him. I want him to create his own life, his own family, his own purpose and why in this world. It's also true that I want to be a part of it. 

I want you to expect excellence from him in all things. From the way he treats the waitress at a restaurant to the way he potty trains your puppy to the way he asks for forgiveness when he disappoints you. Expect the same from yourself. 

I want you to expect he apologizes when he is wrong, I have taught him to say he's sorry. Take that apology with the gravity it is intended. Expect the same from yourself.

I want you to take time for your girlfriends, for your family, for your career and goals and dreams. Encourage him to go fishing with his brothers or hunting with his friends, take chances in his career, bust after his dreams.

I want you to demand respect from him in all things: your body, your mind, your goals, your ideas. Expect the same from yourself. 

I want you to expect him to be honest, to be forthright with his thoughts and actions. Do not except less. Expect the same from yourself. 

Do not allow him to manipulate you or twist your words. Fight fair. Because you will fight. Expect the same from yourself. 

I want you to love him. Really, really love him with all that you have. I want you to love him despite the fact that he loses his temper, or is frustrated with work or the new dent in the wall. I want you to love him when he's sick, when he's tired, when he's irritable and when he's less than you deserve. Expect the same from him. 

Give him grace when he needs it. Expect that from him. 

I want you to call him on his bullshit. There will be plenty. Expect him to to do the same for you. 

Expect him to tell you when he's made you proud. You will do that a lot. When he's made you proud? Tell him. He will make you proud, a lot. 

Expect to be his partner, his equal. 

Make him laugh. He's beautiful when he laughs. When he laughs, laugh with him. You are also beautiful when you smile. 

Do not allow him to take advantage of you, your love, your kindness or your generosity of spirit. Expect the same from yourself. 

Expect him to be kind. Be kind in return. 

Ask for help when you need it. Give help willingly when he requires it. We come into this world completely dependent on others, it is a fool's errand to believe we can make it through this life without help. 

Forgive him when he asks for it. Expect the same of him. 

Expect him to lead you when you need it, expect the same of yourself. David Whyte, one of my favorite authors penned the quote: "Courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive.” You will be tested. Rise together. 

I want you to walk into my home without knocking, to open a bottle of wine and plop yourself down on my couch and tell me about your day. 

I want you to show up on my porch when the baby won't stop crying, you can't stop crying and you need someone to take care of you, too.

I want you to ask my opinion when it comes to getting the grass stains out of knees and how to make his favorite birthday cake or what books to read when you are expecting. And I want you to do it all your way, no matter what my advice may be. 

Love him well. And remind him to call his momma <3


Take care,

Lara xo


Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Aww thank you, Alisa ... it's beautiful and hard and sweet and sad and easy all at once, isn't it?

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  2. I am a mother of four boys. I too have written for Grown and Flown. This piece blew me away! My oldest is engaged and will be getting married next summer. Your words are the same words that come from my heart. Absolutely beautiful!!

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    1. I will have to look for your essays on G&F! Thank you so much for reading and following ... I am so glad it found its way to you. Enjoy that wedding, every minute! Much love xoxo

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  3. Oh my the timing. I never watch a movie because of time and work and marriage and 4 boys. Tonight I watched Blockers, and laughed and cried! Thinking about the moments when these 6-12 yr olds become time to leave and become adults! Prom night and wanting to control the leaving for college. Ugh!. Then I read your post and tears of all the past weeks of sucking it up, pushing through, get out of bed and hold yourself together came pouring out. My 12 year old who has preached his, “ basketball and school are all I care about and girls are not nice.” Well, tonight, in front of brothers and friends said, “ mom you would really like this girl, she is mature for her age, very smart , tall and very beautiful. (My 4 boys dad is 6’8, so height is a conversation). I gulped, but was so proud in that 5 seconds I got from him.
    My 4 boys are 6 to 12 and I have a ways to go. I’m sure it will go quickly. But my biggest fear is raising them to be all your blog says. Especially when most days are filled with Fortnite and boasting about how may kills they have and momma, will you wash my shorts before morning at 10pm. I mean, in between that is all kinds of me Messing up!
    My best friend poured her heart out to a blogger about 6 years ago. About her sister dying from addiction. Her name is Maggie and she wrote to Glennon Melton. We now are in our upcoming 6th year of a women’s luncheon that empowers hundreds for a cause supporting our youth in 3 counties. Glennon spoke first and then Jenn Hatmaker. Maggie has boys too. I am thinking no accidents reading your amazing words. I will cherish them and hold them till I meet the 4 amazing women I adopt from an orphanage...... totally kidding!!! Ugh!! The 4 amazing humans my boys will choose from any walk of life. I will love them all!! And pray they plop on my stinky, 5 dog chewed up sofa!
    I sure hope one day we can rein you in to visit or speak at our beautiful luncheon. Chattanooga and I would welcome you!

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    1. I do believe words, lessons, life find us when we are open and in a space to really hear and know what we are being feeling, seeing, hearing, reading. Like you said ... no accidents! I am so touched my words found you at just the right time! How lovely that your 12-year-old shared such sweet, tender details of his young life! I love it! How lucky he is to have a momma who is there to listen so carefully. When I feel overwhelmed with how my sons will turn out (they are nearly 21, 19 and 15! And I have come to realize the journey never ends) I try to remember two things: those that are worried about parenting and wanting to do it well are paying attention. And if you pay attention your children will listen. That's not to say they won't take awful detours and drive you crazy and make decisions that will disappoint you -- because they will!! BUT ... it does mean that they will know you did the best you can and that will be enough in the end. THe second thing I remember is: I can do hard things. THey can do hard things. There will be loads and loads of hard things. But they can do it and so can we! I would love more than anything to come speak at your luncheon. It sounds like an amazing event. You name the date and time and I would be there in a heart beat. Your best friend sounds like an amazing woman -- how lucky to have such a friendship for you both. My email is lara@laraalspaugh.com and you can find me on facebook Lara Alspaugh, Author or on my website laraalspaugh.com
      Keep the faith that your boys will choose four humans that you will be so proud to know and love ... because they have you for an example. Take care, please reach out again <3

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  4. Taken right from my heart❤ Love this so much, beautifully written!!

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    1. Oh thank you so much! I so appreciate you reading and letting me know your thoughts. xoxo

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