Dear Abe,
Today is your mom’s birthday.  A day that is special to her.  A day that you can truly make her feel loved.  A day she can experience your adoration.  A day of celebration.  A day that……  But you are four, and who is going to teach you that you should respect her?  Who is going to teach you that you should love her?  Who is going to teach you that you should celebrate her and that this is her day?  Who is going to teach you what to say and what the expectations are?……I will……  This is not the reality that I had ever wanted.  Not the reality for how I dreamed I would model living for my son.  But this is our reality and I will embrace it.  Someday you will read this and know that I am just a man, a struggler, a heart hurting fool who wants so much for his son to grow up and be the man I dream he to be.  I want you to be able to love unconditionally, and protect, and cherish, and trust, and be vulnerable.  I want you to be able to forgive in the most difficult times and humbly accept forgiveness as you own your own wrongs.  I want you to be comfortable in your own skin.  I also yearn that you learn how to treat a woman, to serve a love, to lead a family, and to be a Godly man.  As each day passes, each learning moment arises, I understand that how I live quietly, speaks more to you than I realize.  Most of the time I embrace our time, but today, your mom’s birthday, I am struggling.  I am having a hard time giving you the words of love and adoration, of respect and celebration.  I am praying for help and internally battling how deep forgiveness must go.  But then I look up and I see your innocent face.  I see your childhood and the heart that is being shaped, and for you I lay myself down.  Today I will fight for the family that you will someday have.  And I pray that whether or not you remember this day, you remember this lesson of forgiveness and sacrifice.  My son, lay your life down and you will experience life.  It may be the last thing you want to do, and you may have every right to do otherwise, but lay it down just the same.
I love you and I hope you celebrate your momma’s day, like only you can.

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