Dear Kian Ethan van Wyk,
I address this letter to you in the hope that you will have the opportunity to read it at different stages of your life, and that it would mean something to you at every one of those stages.
Last night, when I was bathing you, you told me to “shush” so that you could sing Twinkle Litte Star. I had tears rolling down my cheeks because I am so proud of the way you serenaded me with the song. It didn’t matter to me that the words weren’t 100% correct, it mattered to me that you sang for your mother and that you held my gaze with a sparkle in your eye. In the years to come, please remember that it will never matter to me that you get the sums, the steps, the words or the rules wrong, but, that I, as your mother will always be proud of you, because I know your beautiful heart and your kind soul.
It is so amazing to see you grow into a boy. You are stuck somewhere between being a toddler and a boy, and pretty soon you will be this amazing boy, turning into a stunning young man and maturing into a grown man. I pray that you will be surrounded with friends who want the best for you, and not just the best from you. I pray that you will meet a Godly wife who prioritises Christ and her family and who will never cease to pray for you. I pray that you will never stop praying, that you will stay humble and that you will know that all that we have is through grace, and that His grace is sufficient.
I hope that you will love other people, accept other people, not judge other people, never think that you are too good for other people, and also never believe that anyone is too good for you. Stay friendly. And rather be the one who smiled first than the one who didn’t smile at all.
Hold onto the meaning of your names: Kian, meaning generations and King, Ethan, meaning strong, consistent, famous bearer. You have strong names, and I can already see that you are strong-willed and have strength of character. Your determination is inspiring, yet I want to urge you to never give up, especially if you don’t get something right the first time. Your mom learnt perseverance through ballet, by having to do the same thing over and over again, not until we got it right, but until we couldn’t get it wrong. Even though I don’t see you asking mommy to go do ballet, I hope that you will have the dedication and perseverance that I have instilled within me. It will bring you far in life my boy, because you have a God-given talent for sports and I see that God has an amazing plan for your life as a role-model and leader.
I hope that you continue to enjoy reading like you do now. Remember that a mind needs books, as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. Even though you will outgrow my lap one day and we won’t be able to read books with you sitting on my lap, resting your head against my chest, you will always be my baby. You will always be that boy who fell asleep in my arms after gazing in my eyes for reassurance that mommy is there.
I pray that you will keep your sense of humour. I can see that you are, like your father, ready for a laugh at the drop of a hat. At only two you already tease me by pretending to brush your teeth. You laugh out of the pit of your stomach. Never ever lose the ability to laugh at yourself or situations. It is the best medicine!
I hope you participate in as much sport and activities as possible. I hope that you will remember that no one has ever achieved anything by not, at the very least, trying.
Don’t break a girl’s heart. Be honest. Don’t allow anyone to walk over you. Learn that there is a midway between being aggressive and passive, and it is called being assertive.
Remember that “no” is a complete sentence.
Drugs are horrible and there isn’t something as “only once” when it comes to drugs. Stay away from casinos, strip clubs and brothels. They’re a waste of money. On that note, stay away from debt. Never sign surety for anyone. Get your mom to read any contract before you sign it.
Wear sunscreen. Don’t let peroxide near your hair. Piercings are more permanent than you think. Make sure that your career choice allows for tattoos if you want to get visible tattoos or else you will regret it at an interview. Never tattoo anyone’s name on your body.
Be a leader, not a follower, but allow other people the opportunity to shine. Remember that your greatness is as a result of who you are, not as a result of another person’s lack thereof. Don’t put someone else down to make yourself look better. Let your actions, and not your words, make the noise of your success.
Be honest with us. We were also young. We made mistakes. We aren’t as boring as you may (at times) think we are. We lived full lives and learnt many lessons the hard way. We are much less judgmental and harsh when it comes to an honest conversation.
Above all, be a good person, you might be the only Bible someone gets to read.
I hope that you will always remember that your mom and dad love you so much and that there is never anything that you can do that will change our love for you, or the fact that you are welcome in our house and lives. Rejection will never come from us.
Our love, our presence in your life, our commitment to making you the best you that you can be, is unconditional.
Mommy and Daddy will always make every decision bearing you in mind, and what effect it will have on you.
Someday you will understand the immense love we have for you, when you hold your own child in your arms, and then you will catch a glimpse of God’s unconditional love for you.
I can’t wait to go home this afternoon and throw my arms around your perfect body, kiss you on your cheeks and remind you of how proud I am of who you are, just as you are, and how much I love every part of who you are.
I love you. More than life itself.