a letter to Micah . the time you asked a girl to the dance for the first time ever.

To my oldest son, Micah,

I cried this week just thinking about you. I cried because it feels like you came into our lives about five minutes ago. Five minutes ago, I was holding you, inspecting the features of your face for the first time, nursing you through bleeding nipples to keep you alive, and counting your breaths as you slept soundly next to me. I know 90% of the things I just said would be “gosh, totally gross, mom” to you now, but someday you will be an adult and you will get it a little bit more.

Five minutes ago, you were accidentally scratching your own face with your long newborn nails and haphazard, uncoordinated movements. Then, all of a sudden, this week came and the baby who used to dream on my chest is a middle schooler for the first time, asking a girl to the middle school dance.

You are getting up early these days to get dressed and do your hair. I gave you a new haircut right before you went back to school, one just like dad’s, and you are feeling pretty good about life in that new haircut.

you also get up even earlier now to go running with your dad twice a week. I don’t know all you two will talk about and I could care less how far or fast you run, but I know how proud and at peace I am knowing that, for those hours, your journey into young-man-hood is in really good hands. Then, you get dressed, wet your hair down, pat it dry with a towel, and apply just the right amount of pomade. You still kiss me on the lips while drink my coffee and wave goodbye, you smile with your slightly gapped teeth, look me right in the eyes and say “love you” every single day.

I look at you these days, that hair and those teeth, and marvel at how in between you are. in between being my baby and a young man.

Micah, you asked a girl to the dance this week. You got up the nerve, found her by the lockers, stood up straight, and asked her. Then you found out one of your friends had already beat you to it. He moved in first, she told him yes, and she told you no.

I will be honest. You don’t know what it means yet, but when I heard this,
But you? You, thank God, react differently than I do when you are hurt or disappointed. Your response to this little turd moving in on this girl? “Well, he’s my friend, mom, and so is she. I just want them to have fun at the dance, so I’m happy for him that he asked her and I’m happy for him that she said yes.”

You will never be a mom so you will never fully get this. But you, Micah man, break my heart into a bajillion pieces over stuff like this all the time. it’s not the bad kind of heartbreak, although it still makes me ache in places I didn’t discover until I had you. It’s the kind of heartbreak from being opened to a new kind of beauty and bravery in the world. Sure, there was that season when you got way into Greek mythology and your daily mythology stories were 1000% uninteresting to me and I wanted to gouge my eyeballs out because I thought they would never end, but even then you were perfectly, undeniably, you. You, my love, are a new and miraculous kind of beauty and brave the world has never known before. God is telling me something about his love and his grace and his empathy every single time I interact with you.

I was talking to a friend about you the other day. (I do that often and I hope you know I’m the kind of momma who longs to guard your secrets but honor your strengths to my friends.) I told her I didn’t have a clue what you would grow up to be. What profession in the world exists for the most loving, empathetic person, who cares most about his family, is exceedingly brilliant academically, speaks fluent French, and is leaning Mandarin? The world’s first neurosurgeon with a good bedside manner? Or something they haven’t come up with yet, maybe.

For now, I’m choosing not to worry about your future career. Instead, I’m going to choose to put my phone down more, look you in those wide green eyes, hold your freckle face in my hands, and tell you how proud I am as much as possible.

..and that girl, the one going to the dance with your friend? well, in my opinion, she’s missing out on the best, most loving and remarkable heart breaker she will ever know.

I love you.
forever and ever.
no matter what,

show hide 2 comments

Kristin He’s amazing. and you are such a wonderful mom.September 21, 2015 – 1:07 pm

hootenannie This makes my heart swell up – and also break into a million pieces. I am so proud of him. He is so special (and I know that all kids are, but he is EXTRA special). He deserves the whole wide world, and I can’t wait to see what that means for him.

Dying about the Greek mythology. 🙂September 9, 2015 – 1:08 am

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