What You Mean To Me

I write this blog to have a conversation with my kids that I need to have now. A conversation they can’t yet join. I write it to put moments in a capsule. I put in as many as I can in hopes that some will reach moving targets at some far off time and provide some value to whomever it is that is interested enough to investigate this curiosity they’ve stumbled upon. My kids are the primary target, but myself and their mother are also considered. We will likely be the first to come back to these words and pictures and visit our glorious past someday that’s not nearly as far away as it was. 


 It can all disappear. It can happen in an instant or it can happen over time. What’s certain, the only thing really, is that all of us will go away. Each and everyone of us is renting. A hundred years from now, give or take, their will be all new tenants, each one deeply connected to the past from which they sprung, but each one also tied to a future we can’t imagine. The slipperiness of it all is easy to understand and hard to truly fathom. What’s promised to me is this minute. As such it seems important for me to try to truly explain to you both how much you mean to me. 

You guys are my life’s greatest achievement. 

It’s an entirely selfish assessment to be sure, but I have achieved things in life, everyone does, and truthfully, without question, whatever conceivable and inconceivable things that may yet come you should know that I’ll never ever do anything that will have meant more to me than raising you. What’s silly is to think that theirs some list somewhere, even if it were to reside solely in my head, where their could possibly be something listed second. Nothing would deserve to be that close to you guys. Your mother feels the exact same way. From the second we met both of you we knew we had found our guiding stars, our purpose and our direction. I’m certainly still capable of making bad decisions, and sometimes I’ll do things that will have some small negative effect on you. It’s okay, we’re all human and I hope you’ll forgive me. What I know is my path is the one you’re walking on in front of me. At times you’ll drift and at times I will, but I know it will never be too far. I’ll always walk that path behind you, keeping watch and marveling at your journey. At the paths you blaze as you make your way. It’s been my life’s greatest pleasure walking the path you’ve cut for me. 

I’m so incredibly proud of you both. 

It’s insane to think that you’ll have no frame of reference for what I mean when I’m saying it. After all you’re 5 and 3 as I write this. You’ll understand down the road. Truth is there’s a little selfishness in this too. That’s okay. Family relationships, the best ones, all the best ones contain certain aspects that would be hugely dysfunctional in all other relationships. Make no mistake, we are tied tight to you two. You’ll wiggle free someday, even though we’ll keep cinching and tugging, you’ll break away. You should. Hell, I’ll be proud of that too. Even through tears I’ll be looking at your blurred silouhettes walking away as you must and I’ll be filled with pride. Fear and love and anxiety and pride. It’ll be right there with all the other feelings. Including lonely and perhaps a touch lost. But I’ll be so proud. I’ll also slip the rope through your belt loop and it will always be there ready for when you feel fully your own and want to come back and reminisce and learn what it was all about and who we were now that you’ve earned and learned a new perspective. 

Language is insufficient to describe what you each mean to me.

I love you both to the ends of the earth. I love you past the ends of the earth. I love you across time and space and I love you in a way that the word love can’t sufficiently convey. 

When I was a kid I was cursed with parents who loved me. As a disaffected suburban youth this did not fit the narrative I was constructing and at times I rejected the love that was so generously heaped on me. It wasn’t a jerk thing. I was just not aware of what my parents meant when they said they loved me. I didn’t get that they were saying it not only to me but of me. They were expressing a thing that is far beyond what we know of love until we meet our kids. Perhaps others find it elsewhere than with children, perhaps you will. For my life, for my parents lives it was becoming parents. I can no longer speak to any other experience than the one where I become a parent and I can tell you that I’m so very much in love with the life it’s given me. The life you’ve given me. Sure, there are no doubt times when the business of parenting could best be classified as my favorite frustration. What’s interesteing about that is that in retrospect it all turns into beauty, even the parts that might feel awful to live through. 

I’m planning a long adventure that takes us all down the path as far as we can go together. I’m aware that we won’t all be on the path together forever. But I’m also aware that we will be on that path, together, forever. Because whatever else may be happening and whenever you may be reading this you should know, the minute you guys came along you removed all the boundaries that I had assigned to myself. You stretched that moment to the length of a lifetime and proceeded to teach me how to dance on it, free of the burdens I’d imagined weighed so heavy before you taught me to let them go. You are the magic that makes my life complexly beautiful and you brought with you all the joy and love to last a thousand lifetimes.

We’re not promised tomorrow, but we have today. I’m so happy to be here with you two. 

Author: joejmedler

Joe Medler lives in New Jersey with his wife, who is universally understood to be far too good for him, and his two young sons, who are far too smart for him. His work has been featured on MamaLode, The Original Bunker Punks and Sammiches and Psych Meds. You can find more of his work at https://developingdad.com/ and follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/developingdad

13 thoughts on “What You Mean To Me”

  1. This reminds me of the fact that when I was born, my mom started a journal for me. She’d write in it as much as possible. About me growing up, what I liked to do, what I did that day or what I said that day, my favorite things, one entry it only said it my name and underneath it said that I (being 2 years old at the time she wrote that entry) had asked her to write it. On my 18th birthday, she gave me the journal. It had a lock and key. There was a couple entries from my dad, my step dad as well, my aunt, and my grandma. For my son, I am doing the same.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I always talk about falling truly in love four times. Four very different times in my life. That first moment this tiny human creation was placed into my arms. Those that say love at first isn’t real are not parents. Other types of love might fade and lose its luster, but that love, that connective love never does. It grows and it reaches different heights but it is a light that never fades.

    It is something that only another parent can fathom. A beautiful, difficult, messy love- that grows and changes and shapes itself to become such a part of us that we can barely contain it and we cane hardly describe it. I say this as I sit tired watching my 2 year old ball of energy play independently at two in the morning. I say this as I let go a little with a near teenager as he explores life. Someday, they will understand the love we bear for them. They will read our stories, our poems, our love notes and know- truly how we have felt since day one.

    Another great one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love this so much… I wish I could write you back fully but I’m at a conference, a good one on social responsibility, but one where my bosses can see me. Just know I’m so so happy that you read so much of my work. Your comments truly make me feel special!


  3. This is such a wonderful post! For my kid, I started writing him e-mails, soon after i knew I was pregnant. Now I don’t have time to write every detail, but I do record my voice with all the important stuff that happens, and some of the details that I can remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful! Makes me slightly sad that I documented the first steps, milestones, a billion different pictures of my 8 year old as she grew, but I never once described how it made me feel. Fantastic post! x

    Liked by 1 person

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