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…this email that I sent my son, Nick, when he went off to college.
From: Liz Dyer
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005
To: Nick Dyer
Subject: I wrote this about you and for you on August 14, 2005
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,