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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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A Love Letter to My Son

June 2010

My son is graduating high school this week. I am amazed by this. How is it possible? First, it seems like I was only in high school myself a short time ago. But even more, I remember being pregnant with him. I remember so clearly feeling the first time I felt him move, the first time that I knew that I was carrying a new life inside of me. I remember the joy that we had as we imagined what our little one would be like. I remember holding him as an infant and burping him and snuggling him and swaddling him. I remember rolling a ball back and forth and his joy with it. I remember watching him walk and fall and walk again. I remember his watching a slapstick show and having a belly laugh that only kids seem to be able to do. I enjoyed watching him watch the show more than the show itself. I remember him discovering the world. He was such a cute little boy. Now he is taller than me. There was a time that I knew everything about his life, everything he ate, everyone he met, everywhere he went. Now, I know only what he chooses to tell me, which is good and the way it should be. There was a time that I directed his journey, now he is directing his own journey. And what a journey it is! He has plans that he is making. He has decisions that he is making. He has his life. This is all good. This is what I want for him. Now I ask myself, did I teach him everything that he needed? Did we do a good enough job giving him what he needs to make healthy, adult decisions? Did we forget something? I am overwhelmed with feelings as I look at this young man, just on the cusp of starting his own life. My time of actively leading him is over. It is up to him now. I will always be there for him, as will his father. There we are standing behind him, to catch him if he falls, but only if he wants us to. It is up to him now. So, to my son, I wish you love and luck on your journey. You will need both. Know that we will always be there for you. May your journey be filled with excitement and learning. May it be filled with friends and laughter. May the pain just be the salt that makes the entire dish more flavorful. We love you.

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