“To my sensitive son: Your heart is as big as life itself, yet as delicate as a little flower. Your compassion alone can move mountains and allow others to feel safe and loved in your presence. The affection you give out radiates from your tiny body and you will freely give that love to whomever needs it. You’re not afraid of hugs or multiple ‘I love you’s.’ You welcome the cuddles and you feel safest in the arms of others.
When other little boys try to wrestle with you, it can seem fun for a few minutes. But you are generally a lot less aggressive than the average boy. You prefer not to use violence to have fun and instead you like to have meaningful play time. You’re like my own little version of Ferdinand The Bull. The competitiveness of the world falls short in your eyes and you prefer everyone just do things that makes them happy. Why fight when we can all love instead? It seems silly to you that others would want to do harm. I am not sure if you will find a place in the competitive world of sports as you continue to grow, but I know that whatever you choose to do, you will do it with your whole heart.
I worry that your big heart will lead you down a path of bullying. Being the sensitive kid is not necessarily the ‘cool’ thing when you’re growing up. Most of your boy friends will be much more tough and rugged than you. I pray that your light will not be dimmed by little boys who view you as weak, instead of self assured. As an adult, being the man with a big heart is a lot more revered than the little boy who would rather give hugs than play contact sports. This path we take together through your childhood will be unknown and maybe a little rocky. But I have a lot of faith that your personality will outshine all of the negative there is in this world.
Your sweet nature has comforted your sisters when they’ve fallen from their bikes. You are quick to kiss their owies and reassure them that it’s okay to try again. When they want the blue plate instead of the green one, you gladly switch knowing that you’re giving them a few moments of joy. Recently we raised caterpillars into butterflies and one didn’t develop their wing all of the way. You held it on your finger trying to coax it to fly. When it couldn’t, you sat it in a bush and checked on it multiple times for the rest of the day. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that it was probably eaten, but you assured us all that it did learn to fly and that it eventually joined its siblings. Every time one of us gets sick or hurt, you tend to cuddle us and check on us for days on end. Your heart isn’t comforted until you know we are all okay. I’ll never forget the way you loved on your dog for days after he got attacked by porcupine needles. You want everyone to know how much you love them and you go above and beyond to prove it.
It’s a beautiful way of looking at the world and you should know that I often envy how big your heart continues to grow despite the turmoil of society around us.
Your emotions run deep and your reactions to things can run even deeper. When something makes you sad, it makes you extremely sad. You can go from zero to one hundred in a split second with tears that drop so much faster than I feel I can catch them. I need you to know that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have big emotions in such a small body. Feeling things on a deeper level than most of us do doesn’t make you weak or powerless. In fact, I hope you use your power of feeling to help change the hearts of others one day.
While this world can feel harsh and hopeless, you are right there softening it with your presence. Your empathetic and loving nature exudes from your little body and out to those around you. You’re there to reassure us with your love, making sure everyone knows they have a place in your heart. You would give the world all of your affection if you could and I have no doubt that one day you will try.
But this world is harsh and my biggest fear in parenting you is that the harder you hug, the harder society will push back. The world is changing their views of little boys by understanding that you don’t have to be so rough and tumble all of the time. But it’s not a perfect viewpoint and there are still some who will see your kind heart as a weakness. Your sisters are told to be anything they want to be but sometimes you are told not to feel everything you want to feel. But I need you to know that the world needs more tender boys like you. Keep feeling. Keep hugging. Keep loving.
We have years to perfect the difference between emotions and behavior. You won’t always throw your big crocodile tears on the floor when your sister touches your perfectly placed train on its tracks. Those big emotions can stop all of us in our tracks. But yet we know this season of life won’t stay forever. We also know that these moments of sadness or anger won’t last very long. You alone have taught all of us the importance of deep breathing and counting down from ten when our own big emotions feel chaotic. We are all learning new techniques to deal with our feelings in a more manageable way, thanks to you.
I often look to the future and keep my fingers crossed that you won’t lose your sense of character. I see you treating your future spouse with respect and tenderness. Whomever you decide to spend this life with is going to be very blessed to be cherished by you. I have no doubt that your cuddles I have come to adore will be passed on as you continue to grow as both a person and as a husband.
If you choose to be a father, which I believe you will be without a doubt, I often smile knowing your children are going to be the luckiest of kids. Your compassion will radiate out into fatherhood and you will raise kids who will know they are loved entirely. As your mom, I know you will always wear your heart on your sleeve. I know that your journey throughout your life will be met with scrutiny and backlash, but I pray that your sense of warmth continues to shine.
So, we celebrate you. We celebrate who you are to your core. You are a little boy who feels things in ways we might not comprehend. You are one of the most compassionate souls many will ever meet. We honor your warmth and affection. We honor you, the you who will always reach for a hug before a hi. The you that wants everyone to love and be loved. The you that wants the world to always stay kind to one another. The you that contains a heart worth society’s weight in gold.
Stay sensitive, little one. The world needs you.
Love, Your Mama.”
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