You are 2-1/2.
You won't understand what this encompasses until you have kids of your own some day.
I've been thinking this week about how many good character qualities are in your life right now.
And how many bad character qualities could just use a little tweaking to be turned into good ones.
That is the hard part, little man.
Daddy and Mama have the responsibility to watch over your mind, your body, and your soul.
But you ultimately will make the choices that direct your own course.
We pray that you will make godly decisions, but we cannot effect a change in your soul.
Your defiance could be turned to a hearty respect for those in authority.
Your bully behaviors could be turned into a heart that stands up for the rights of the oppressed.
Your bossiness could be turned into humble leadership.
Your willfulness could be turned into ingenuity within proper boundaries.
Right now you don't understand how beautifully agonizing parenting is: how very seriously Daddy and Mama take our duty.
We often seem stern.
We often demand things that you don't like.
We discipline you.
But we also spend tender moments intentionally just holding you and telling you what we cherish about you.
We plan activities that will open new worlds of imagination and creativity to you.
We use words that stretch you intellectually, and we answer nearly all of your questions in a serious manner--for, indeed, they are serious questions to you.
We have expectations for you, and we give you grace when you don't meet those expectations.
We put so much thought and effort and energy into parenting you.
And I just want you to know that it's not easy.
When you are a grown man and have children of your own, I don't want you to nostalgically wonder how Daddy and Mama knew what to do.
I want you to know that we struggle, daily asking for God's guidance and wisdom.
I want you to know that parenting takes forethought. It's not something that a person can do well by flying by the seat of their pants, without planning or discussion or a close look into what principles you hold to.
When you are grown, maybe you will understand these things. But right now, you are 2-1/2. You are still a little boy, with attitudes to mold and character qualities to shape.
And I will hold you and rock you, and make up songs about obedience, and we will sing together one of your favorite songs:
"I want to obey Mommy; I want to obey Daddy. Because when I obey, I'm happy all the day."
We love you and pray for you to grow into a Godly man.
Mama and Daddy