When I went to clean off an old desktop pc so that it could be reformatted I only really cared about finding one thing before we erased the hard drive … an email that I sent my son, Nick, after he went off to college for the first time.
Here it is.
From: Liz Dyer
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005
To: Nick Dyer
Nick, I wrote the following about you and for you on August 14, 2005 after we had dropped you off at college and wanted to share it with you.
“Everyone is too young to have their first child.
I was 32, had been married for four years, was fairly successful in my career, lived a responsible life. I was grown-up “enough.” At least I thought I was – right up until the moment I found out I was expecting. That’s when the doubts began. By the time I came home from the hospital with Nick there was no doubt about it, I felt like a little girl again. A little girl who had no idea what she had gotten herself into.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I was happy. I was elated. In fact, I was ecstatic. I loved Nick from the moment I laid eyes on him. I loved him like I had never loved anyone in my life. I am not even sure I really knew what love was before I had Nick. At least not unconditional, unselfish love.
I amazed myself with what I was willing to do, to give up, to go through to care for him, to love him, to just be with him.
But still, I felt completely inadequate for the task at hand. To compensate, I read everything about raising a child that I could get my hands on. I asked my mom questions, sought advise from other moms and picked my husband’s brain.
Just when I would think I had it down, he would change and enter another stage. Infant, toddler, preschool, boy, adolescence, teenager. The transitions were there and gone before I could catch my breath. I couldn’t change gears fast enough.
I left him at college today. That’s what got me to thinking about all of this. Mostly, I’ve been wondering how in the world he turned out so wonderful.
I did a million things wrong. I was too permissive when I should have been stricter, too strict when I should have been more lenient. I remember that time he was just entering adolescence and I didn’t know what to do – I yelled a lot. Then when he started to drive I was over protective. And when I wanted him to do well in school I was too pushy.
But, there was one thing I always did well. I always loved him well. And it was real love. Pure love. Good love. The kind of love that makes up for a lot of mistakes. The kind of love that says “even when I am doing the wrong thing, I am trying with every fiber of my being to figure out what I need to do different and better.” The kind of love that humbles a person enough to want to change and to admit when they are wrong. The kind of love that strengthens a person so that they never, never, never give up and they are always willing to try again.
Scripture says that love covers a multitude of sins. That brings me so much peace. Because even though I know I was inadequate to shape a life, I discovered I had the ability to love enough to make up for my inadequacies.”
I love you Nick. I have since before you were born and I always will.
Thank you for waking up the love in my heart. Thank you for teaching me what it means to love unconditionally. Thank you for being a testimony to the power of love.
I love you,