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And Then He Started 3rd Grade

And Then He Started 3rd Grade

Dear Hunter,
You started third grade. You loved it until another boy hit you in the back. On purpose.

I think you handled it the way you felt was best at the time. You told the teacher.
Dad coached you to hit back next time. And we have always told you that you will never be in trouble for defending yourself with your words or your fists.
I coached you to consider doing something without your fists, if at all possible.

Three days later you still ruminated, marinated, really, on the incident and all the bad things you could do to get back at the other boy. You were angry and plotting your retaliation. We were driving to school.

I stopped the car in the middle of our dirt road and turned to look at you. I felt lost. How was I going to help you? Being a parent is full of these moments. Questioning how I can help you on your human journey.

I said, “Honey, I can almost guarantee that the other boy is not thinking about you right now. He’s getting ready for school or getting yelled at by his mom for NOT getting ready for school. He’s taking up all your energy and thoughts right now. You are the one feeling big feelings about something that happened three days ago. Not him. Sweetheart, brains are super powerful. You can choose to not think about him. You can train your brain and make its super powers work for you rather than let all those thoughts run loose. Would you like to know how?” I breathed easier when you said yes.

We practiced how to recognize the thought about him and redirect to something you are good at or were looking forward to. I said his name and you said ‘hunting and fishing’ or ‘playing with the dogs.’

By the time we got to school, you were laughing instead of fuming.

I picked you after school and asked how it all went. You said it went pretty good.

I’ll take that as a win.

I hope we are building a trust so that you keep coming to me when you are angry, hurting, questioning, or happy.

Love,
Mom

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2021 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood, Uncategorized

 

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Little Boy Dreams About…

Little Boy Dreams About…

…adventures in the woods
…fishing in streams
…snowshoe-backpacking on the mountain
…catching critters
…hunting trips with daddy
…wrestling the dog
…snuggling close to mom
…campfire heat on his face
…splashing and sploshing and skipping stones
…comparing footprints with grizzlies
…growing up
…growing up
…growing up
…he dreams about growing up so fast
…my head spins
…my heart sinks deep
…I search for my stiff upper lip
…eye lashes gating tears
…my dream
…keeps me in his field of vision
…and runs face-first
…after his dreams.
~annie ricci~

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Letters To My Son, Motherhood, Poetry

 

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Father’s Day 2016

Dear Son,

Your Daddy loves you more
than mountains love spring rain.
You pull his world around
like the moon pulls the tide.
And when your tears flow
he feels your anger and your pain.
When you ask to get on his shoulders
he never refuses giving the ride.

Daddy will be your rock when life
throws you this way and that.
He’ll teach you what’s what:
like how to build, how to fix,
how to fish and how to hunt.
He’ll show by example how to be a man.
And you can be sure, if you’ve earned it,
you’ll also get your licks.

Your Daddy loves you the whole world
and then some.

Love,
Mom

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Letters To My Son, Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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Valentine’s: Just Another Day Around Here

Dear Hunter,

It seems like just yesterday it was New Year’s and a few days ago was Christmas.  But we are approaching Valentine’s day with the speed of light.  You, my dear son, are mine and Dad’s Valentine.  Every day with you is filled with smiles and love and fun and I love it!

As you get older, you’ll get caught up in all the little Valentine’s giving and receiving at school (If they still do that, I don’t know). And you will learn all about the commercialism of this holiday and many others.  But Dad and I will balance that out for you because around here we say, “Every day is Valentine’s Day.”  We don’t withhold our love and caring and then try to make up for it on one day of the year with ‘stuff.’

We share our love for each other (and now, for you, too) every day. We show each other kindness, consideration and passion every day. Some days its more than others.  And some days it might be hard to see altogether. That’s just the ebb and flow of a relationship, son. The important point here is that we intentionally create our relationship and love and friendship on a daily basis.

Valentine’s day is nice and we celebrate it, but it’s special for us because it reminds us that we make our relationship work the rest of the 364 days of the year. And that is pretty darn sweet.

I love you, son.

Love,
Mommy

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Lessons Learned, Letters To My Son

 

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Brave Twirl

Dear Hunter,

Every day you inspire me to be brave. With each new discovery you make, I first take a deep breath and then, depending on what you are doing, I take a step forward or backward. I come toward you to share in your discovery or be closer if I need to pick you up when you fall.  I move away to give you a sense of autonomy and mastery over your world and body.

You recently learned how much fun it is to twirl in circles, get dizzy and fall down. And my first instinct is to tell you to be careful, that you are going to fall.  But my brave self tells me that you have to learn how to fall, how to crash in to things and learn how to get up even when it hurts. So, I laugh with you as you twirl, giggling all the way to the floor. Sometimes the twirl ends with tears and a bruise or two. I say, “Yep, that hurt, buddy. Do you want my help?” Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You get more sure-footed with every twirl, though. And I get braver.

I hope you never forget how much fun it is to twirl, my dear boy. You’ve reminded me what a joy it is to play and get dizzy and silly and giggle, falling down.

I love you,

Mom

 

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No No No NO NO

My sweet boy,

You love to say, “No.” And you practice saying it in all sorts of ways. Sometimes you say it with a smile and a laughing squeal as you run away from me with the sunglasses your dad bought me the summer I was pregnant with you. Then there are the times when you SCREAM NONONONONONONO at the top of your lungs when it’s time to get in your car seat and you REALLY DO NOT want to.

I know you’ve learned that because dad and I say “No” to a lot. And it’s usually because you are doing or you are about to do something that might not turn out so well -either for you or for us… Like climbing on the top rail of the porch or playing with the keyboard on the computer.

As I see your abilities and confidence grow, I am trying to say “Yes” more often. Sometimes lessons are only learned when you have permission to fail… or fall. But they are also learned when you succeed. I don’t want your success to be stymied by my “No’s” because I was scared.

I promise to do my best to be brave and say “YES!” more often so we can grown and learn together.

Love,
Mom

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Letters To My Son

 

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Thank You

Dear Hunter,

Thank you for the giggles
Thank you for the kisses
Thank you for the squeals
Thank you for the snuggles
Thank you for the peek-a-boos
Thank you for the wobbly walk
Thank you for the leg-hugging
Thank you for the ‘mama-mama’ in the middle of the night
Thank you for the tears
Thank you for the naps
Thank you for the bluest eyes filled with laughter
Thank you for the grumpiness
Thank you for the diapers
Thank you for the chubby, dimpled thighs
Thank you for the love.
Love,
Mom

Do I fit in the carry on space?

Do I fit in the carry on space?

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Letters To My Son, Uncategorized

 

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It’s Officially The First…

…birthday, that is. Happy First Birthday to Hunter Patrick!

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Dear Son,

Today is your very first birthday. Your dad and I have been blessed to have you for a whole 12 months already and share in some amazing “firsts.”

You breathed the first time and we held our own breaths.
Crying your first cry, made us cry with joy.
Your first smile lit our hearts and
The first giggle had us laughing with you.
When you first rolled over and first sat up,
We cheered your achievement.
And as we roll into your second year,
we anticipate your first steps –
knowing there are still many
“firsts” ahead of us.

Its been a great first year, my sweet little boy…

Love,
Mommy

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Letters To My Son

 

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Nap Time

…is sacred time. 

Dear Hunter,

You are nine months old this week and right now you are napping. As I reflect on the past nine months, it’s hard for me to fathom how far we’ve come.  You and me.  Being your mom adds a dimension to my life I never imagined. I work on my relationship with you every day, son.  Some days I am really good at it and other days I feel I am lacking whatever it is you need that will help you. 

These early months have been filled with laughing days, learning days, crying days and just-there days.  We wake up with your smiles and giggles. And we go to sleep with your suckling snuggles. The hours in-between are always an adventure.

Last week, you started to crawl and soon you will start walking by yourself. With every new stage, your dad and I are so excited and proud of you. We try to protect you and yet not overprotect you. And sometimes we get it wrong.  So, we adjust and move forward.

I just wanted to take a few moments of this sacred time to let you know how much I love you and how every day I feel lucky to be your mother.

Love,

Mom

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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For My Husband on His First Father’s Day

Dear Steve,

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Long before you held your son for the very first time, I knew you were a man worthy of having one. I watched you with children not your own and saw the depth of your heart, the strength of your character and the sweetness of your soul.

When I saw you hold your son for the first time, tears in your eyes, I watched you gingerly cradle your whole world.  When you kissed him for the first time and breathed deep his baby smell, I saw that part of you that misses your own father, begin to truly heal.

You will teach your son not by telling him but by showing him how to be a good man, how to be his own man.  You will guide him, giving him a lot of lead line to find his own way and reel him in when the waters get way too rough.  As you find your footing with this new role – fatherhood – my heart sees your joy, your pride, your worry, your daddy-ness.  Your love shines straight into his little heart and your son reflects that back in the way he smiles at you.

On your first Father’s Day, my husband, know you are good.

Love,
Annie

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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