Pearls & Vodka

Dear Judd…

Dear Judd,

It occurred to me today that sometime later on in your life, you might come across this blog and read what I wrote. You’ll probably be flying robots instead of driving cars, and the internet will probably read itself to you, but alas, you might see the words I put out on the world wide web, so I wanted to write a few to you. You’ll likely see yourself mentioned numerous times in countless blogs. Hopefully, you are not too embarrassed. You will have no lack of pictures of yourself growing up, thanks to my social media accounts that have become your personal scrapbooks. You won’t believe this, but back when I was a little girl, parents actually made hardback baby books, that you actually held in your hand, not just something you viewed online. Weird, I know. I don’t know how old you will be when you read this, but I hope I’m still around. Unfortunately, life can often times be cruel, and things don’t always go as planned, so if I’m not, I want you to know a few things.

First of all, I want you to know how much your Mommy and Daddy love you. We think you are simply the greatest creation God ever made. You are not quite two years old yet when I’m writing this, but you are already, easily, the most beautiful child on the face of the planet. Some might think I’m biased, but if you’ve learned nothing else from reading my blog, know this, I don’t care too much about what other people think. And you shouldn’t either. Daddy and I believe that God created you for us. We believe that before you were born, God knew how many beautiful curls you would have on your head. Gosh, I hope you still have that same beautiful, curly hair when you read this. Don’t cut it, no matter what your Gigi tells you! God ordained the footsteps of your life before you were born. He is always with you. No matter what. You can never do anything, ever, to diminish His love for you. Or ours. Sure, there are times you might frustrate us. Daddy would really appreciate it if you would sit on your bottom on the couch, he’s super worried you will fall and hit your head. I would really appreciate it if you would use your words when you get upset because it breaks my heart when you cry. But alas, no matter what you do, or where you go, you can never escape your Heavenly Father’s love, or your earthly Mommy and Daddy’s.

Secondly, I want you to know how special you are. You see not every little boy gets to grow up with a Daddy with dark skin and a Mommy with light skin. The combination of our DNA created you, our perfect little man. Your skin tone doesn’t match everyone. You aren’t super dark, and you aren’t super light. Truth be told, lots of folks are jealous of your “tan.” But the thing is that there are some people who might treat you differently because you don’t match them. Mommy and Daddy pray all the time that the world will be kind to you, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So, if the world is unfair to you, for any reason, not just your skin tone, always remember that you were fearfully and wonderfully made by the Great and Mighty Creator of ALL things. And, although we think you are the closest thing to perfect this side of Heaven, just a quick note, a reminder if you will, that you are never to treat anyone else differently because of the color of THEIR skin. You should always say “yes ma’am” and “no sir” and respect your elders, the law enforcement officers who are working to protect you and the military service members who are sacrificing every day for you to be free.

Speaking of differences, the third thing I want to tell you is, never look down on anyone for any reason, whatsoever. It’s an easy rule if you leave it at that, but sometimes the world will try and cloud your mindset. Just remember, though you are an amazing blessing from God, you are no better, and you are no worse, than anyone you encounter. Just like you will come across people with different skin colors than you, you will come across people who are taller than you (though you seem to be a giant at 22 months), you will come across people who weigh more, or less, than you, you will meet people who don’t hear as well as you, or see as well as you, or talk as well as you. You will meet people who have to ride around in a chair all day instead of running around on two legs like you. You will know some people who don’t understand everything their teachers are telling them the same way you do. You will have friends who have 2 Mommies instead of a Mommy and Daddy like you. You will play with other little kids who may not have either, and they live with their Gigi or Granny. You will be in class with other little kids who have way more shoes than you (though that’s hard to imagine, thanks to your Gigi), and you will walk the same hallways as children who don’t have a coat in the winter. The fact is son; sometimes life is harder for others. Just remember, Mommy and Daddy, are raising you to play with every little kid on the playground, not just the ones whose families and lives look like yours.

The fourth thing I want to tell you is never stop asking “why.” Granted, you might think back on your younger years and remember us telling you, “because I said so.” But I promise we are trying not to say that as much! Never stop asking why Juddy, always keep learning, no matter what. Always dream big. Never stop reaching for the stars. If you want to play baseball at Clemson like you keep telling people, you play baseball at Clemson, and you break every record in the book. If you want to fly “hellchopters” yes, that’s what you call them today, you fly those helicopters and save lives. You talk a lot about firetrucks and ambulances right now, a lot, so maybe you will save lives by fighting fires or getting folks to the help they need. Whatever you do in life son, do it up big, do it to the best of your potential, do it to leave the world better than you found it. Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t qualified, or that you aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or strong enough. Mommy and Daddy will always be your biggest cheerleaders no matter where we are, or what you are doing.

And finally, baby boy, I hope that when you read this, you have never lived a day where you didn’t feel loved. I hope that with each day that passes you learn more and more about how much we love you, and how much your Gigi and your Granny love you, and your Grandpa Larry. I hope you know that your aunts and uncles and cousins all love you. And I hope you know, that your Pawpaw Hershel and Grandpa Franklin have been your guardian angels since well before you were born. I hope you know that we have done our very best to protect you, and nurture you, and surround you with friends who will cherish you just like we do. I hope that our love has spurred in you to love others and love God above all else.

I hope to write you many, many more letters son. But no matter how many more the Lord allows me to write, always know that you are forever in my heart and my mind. And no matter where life takes us, you are loved beyond measure.

Love, your Momma