I Want You to Learn; A letter to my child who has failed ~
Written by Kari Patterson
My dear child,
You might be 3 or 5 or 14 or 17. The details will vary, but my posture toward you never will.
I know you feel it right now, that feeling we fear most, the feeling we avoid at all cost: failure.
Tears stream down my face for you because I know how much it hurts when it happens.
And it does. To everyone.
I’m sure it sounds empty right now, all the words about how “it’s part of growing up” and “everyone has to learn these lessons” and “blah blah blah blah.”
Nothing really eases the blow. Whether it’s math class or marriage, who of us wants failed as part of our story?
No one, of course.
Coldplay’s Fix You plays as we drive together, silent:
“When you try your best, but you don’t succeed …
And the tears come streamin’ down your face …
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes …”
I don’t mean to make this bigger than it is. I know we’re just talking school.
But my Love, I want you to take this feeling, this little taste of what failure feels like, and though it sounds cliche, I want you to learn.
I want you to learn that nothing could ever make me love you more, or less.
I want you to learn that you can always come to me with your tears, your shame, your guilt.
I want you to learn that there is Light that extends to the farthest reaches of any dark hole you ever find yourself in.
I want you to learn that everyone has felt this.
I want you to learn that you are never alone.
That God’s grace is bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger…
I want you to learn to courageously and humbly take responsibility for your part.
I want you to learn never to pass blame.
I want you to learn never to hide.
I want you to learn that everywhere there is failure, there is also forgiveness.
I want you to learn that my love for you is deeper, wider, fuller than you could ever fathom. That I am so proud of you I can’t even pull together the words to express to you.
That I never dreamed I’d get to have a child as wonderful as you.
That your smile takes my breath away. That every bit of pain you’ve caused me is worth it a million times over. That I’d do it again a thousand times over.
That being your mom is the joy of my life.
Now, Child, get back out there. Try again, the story’s not over. I’m with you.
You’ve got this.
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