“Love is a choice you make every day” – Gary Chapman
They say that it is hard to love when the novelty of love wears out. It doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships.
When the novelty of having a new baby wears out when the cuteness and eyelash kisses mature into the terrible twos and threes, when there are good days and trying days and when tempers escalate, we remind ourselves to choose to love.
When those whom we love show us their worst sides, love transcends anger. That is when we make that conscious and deliberate choice to love.
An open letter to my son from mom. | Image: iStock
Choose to Love: An Open Letter to My Son From Mom
I will not love you perfunctorily. I will not love you because you are my child and I am your mother. I will not love you because it is as natural to me as breathing. I will not love you because loving you is the way it should be.
Instead, I will choose to love you.
I will choose to celebrate your presence in my life every single day. I will love you because you are the very embodiment of my hopes, my dreams, my smiles, my tears, a bit of the best in me and a bit of the worst.
I will love you because you are the palpable truth of every wish that I made on every shooting star. I will choose to love you every day because you are the biggest monumental milestone in my life.
I will choose to love you every single day.
Because during my worst, weakest and darkest moments you give me strength and empower me. I find the strength that I need to raise you, in you. I will choose to love because you make me a better person. You continue making me want to be a little bit better every day. You remind me never to give up on me, on us or on anything. You make me want to try a little harder every day. And because of that, I love you.
I will choose to love you because you gave me the honour of being your mother.
You profoundly altered the entire course of my life with your arrival and eased the empty tedium of my days into a purposeful journey. I will love you endlessly for that indescribable joy that I felt when I first held you in my arms, felt your skin, smelt your hair and whispered to you that I love you.
Letter to my son from mom: I’ll never forget the first time I held your tiny hand. | Image: iStock
I will choose to love you every day because apart from my strength, you also are my biggest weakness.
You strip me of all my walls and defences. You leave me raw and vulnerable in a way that I never imagined possible. My strength and however unbreakable that I imagine myself to be dissipated into nothingness at the slightest thought of harm befalling you. When as much as a tiny scratch on your arm leaves my heart acutely wounded, I cannot help but choose to love you. Every single day.
I will choose to love you for how you have coloured my once silent and peaceful mornings with a cacophony of singing, whining, screaming, cajoling, tantrums and the never-ending negotiation about school.
I love how the long and arduous drives from home to school and everywhere are now discussion platforms for life-changing decisions such as your dinner menu and what colour you want me to paint my nails. I will choose to love you for bothering if my hair is coloured and if my clothes match.
I am far from perfect and the way I raised you is far from perfect but there is something so inexplicably perfect about us. We are somewhat like a discordant symphony and I will choose to continue loving our beautiful imperfection.
I will show you that I choose to love you not merely by telling you that I love you.
I will love you not just by sheltering, feeding, clothing, educating and providing for you. I will love you not by reminding you how much I have done for you and how you must eternally be grateful to me for enduring thirteen hours of labour and a c-section scar for you.
I will show you that I love you by choosing you each and every day of my life.
I will show you that I love you by choosing you over everything and everyone. I will choose you over myself, my job, my social life, my smartphone, and my laptop. I will choose to play with you, to read to you, to listen to you, and to treat your concerns and opinions with utmost respect and urgency. I will choose you by knowing your likes, your dislikes, your irrational fears, your pet peeves, your weaknesses, your strengths, the beautiful teacher you have a crush on and the boy you fought with over a football.
Letter to my son from mom: “You are my first child. I made that choice to have you.” | Image: iStock
I will show you that I love you by saying yes to you at times and saying no to you more than I say yes.
I will show you that I love you by telling you off without hurting you. I will show you that I love you by disciplining you and being as hard as I need to but I promise that no incriminating words will pass my lips. I will show you that I love you by buying you some of what you want and making you earn the rest of what you want. I will show you that I love you by never judging you, never imposing myself on you and always accepting you the way you are.
You are my first child. I made that choice to have you. Now that I have you, I will continue making the choice to love you for the rest of my life.
A letter to my first-born: “I won’t forget”
To My Children, When You Don’t Need Me Anymore: Mum’s Open Letter