To the person who falls in love with my son,
I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be giving you this letter.
Maybe in a few decades on the day you marry my son. Or maybe it will be just a random day that feels right. Whenever it is that you get this letter, I hope that I will be alive and well enough to fully experience how happy I am to know you.
Right now it feels a little silly to be writing this letter. My son, my little toddler, is upstairs, tucked in a bed that seems giant compared to him, and it reminds me how tiny his body is. He’s lost in a sea of blankets that I lovingly wrapped around him, before I brushed his hair off his forehead, kissed him and came downstairs to write to you.
I’ve listened to enough stories to know that (God willing) my toddler is going to grow up faster than I am prepared for. His lanky feet will soon hang off the edge of that bed, and before I know it, he’ll sleep in a new bed, in a different home, away from me.
And somewhere along the way, he will find you. And everything will change.
Right now he chooses me. He chooses me to play race cars with and to read books with. He likes my lunches better than the ones his school makes. He wants me to be the last one to kiss him goodnight.
But one day, he will choose you. He’ll want to spend his days off with you, go on adventures with you, cook for you.
Right now his eyes light up with joy when he sees me. The look on his face when he first spots me in the preschool pick up line will never ever get old.
It is my honor to be this little boy’s mother, to help guide him as he grows into the person that you will fall in love with.
But one day, those eyes will sparkle for you. He’ll study your hands, memorize your face, and have pictures of you up in his office (or, in his “super awesome pick-up-truck-excavator in a tunnel” which is where he currently plans to work).
Right now I am his hero. He asks me for help. He asks me to make it stop raining. He snuggles with me when he is sick.
But one day, you will be his hero. He’ll ask a question, you and I will each give him a different answer, and he will listen to yours over mine. You’ll help him discover the world, you’ll be the one to make him feel better when he is sad or sick.
Right now I am teaching him how to be kind. His dad and I are teaching him how to respect others and be respected. How to listen, how to help and how to ask for help when he needs it.
And one day, I hope he lavishes you with that respect and kindness.
Right now I get to plan birthday parties and make the holidays and milestones magical.
One day, you will remind him to call me on my birthday.
Right now, home is with me.
But one day, he will be at home wherever he is with you.
And the thing is, all of this is okay. It’s wonderful in fact.
It is my honor to be this little boy’s mother, to help guide him as he grows into the person that you will fall in love with. And it will be my honor to know you as well.
I hope that world is a better place when he does find you, and a statement like this seems totally unnecessary—but just in case, I want you to know that if you treat him well and make him happy, I will love you no matter your gender, race, ethnicity or religion, just like I will all of my children.
I promise to try to find a balance between being in your lives and being helpful without overstepping my boundaries. No pop-ins, I swear.
I promise to try not to give advice unless you ask.
And to you, the person who has fallen in love with my son, I promise to fall in love with you. Because the person that loves my son will understand what’s behind those sparkling eyes of his like I do. That person will think his raspy voice is adorable like I do. Will laugh at his jokes the way that I do (though hopefully we’ll be over this poop jokes phase by then, for your sake).
And how could I not love the person that loves all of that about my child?
So right now while I have him, before he is yours, I will cherish every moment, every kiss and every snuggle.
And one day, when you love him and he loves you, I will be so proud. Proud of the person he has become, proud of the person he has chosen to spend his days with, and proud, so proud, to be his mom.
A version of this post was published January 4, 2018. It has been updated.