A letter to my wild child

Table of Contents

My darling,

You are my wild child. A truly free spirit. A gift from above. I couldn’t have dreamed your unique, carefree spirit into existence. You are a pure miracle.

Also, it would be best if you stopped impulsively mooning the teenaged girls who go to school down the street. They find it adorable because you’re three, but that won’t last long, my sweets.

You see, every single child is a gift. But you, my wild one, have rocked my world. Your older brother and younger sister present their own challenges, but there is NOTHING like the magic and challenge of raising a wild child.

You have been wild since the day you were born: Relentlessly stubborn, endlessly energetic, eternally creative. Unwilling to be told what to do. Here to make a tremendous impact on the world—if only I will let you.

You dream up of “fun adventures” I would never imagine. When I see a fence to keep you safely in the yard, you see a climbing wall to scale.

Where I see a bath to clean you at the end of the day, you see an undersea scuba diving adventure.

Where I see a bed for you to sleep in at night, you see a trampoline to launch you into outer space.

At every turn, you find new limits to test, places to explore, and journeys to be discovered. There is never a dull moment with you in the family.

Also, my sweets, it would be amazing if you could please lower your ear-piercing shrieks while we’re in the car. I know you just saw a squirrel run up the tree carrying a nut (!) but mommy needs to concentrate on driving and your high-decibel screams and energetic kicks made that challenging. KTHXBYE.

You have one mode: FULL SPEED AHEAD. You wake up ready to attack life every day. You’re always dreaming and scheming, imagining how you could suck the marrow out of every moment of life.

Perhaps it sounds strange, but sometimes I imagine you as a wild animal, a lion cub, or a puppy dog. You’re full of the exuberance of existence itself—and see every day as playtime or a party.

But just a reminder, you’re NOT actually a lion cub and so wearing clothes is the standard operating procedure of human society. Nudity might be fun, but it’s only for special occasions. Shoes, shirt + pants are required. Signed—the management.

I don’t want to crush your incredibly vibrant spirit. I don’t want to break you. I don’t want to stifle your creativity, or force you to conform to society’s standards. (You confidently declared pink your favorite color and while that makes you the unusual boy in class, I love you for that.)

I don’t want to burden you with rules and limits and regulations that cause resentment. There is nobody like you on earth, and I don’t want you to really change—at all.

But if you could honestly just try to not whirl all of my tediously-organized paperwork directly onto the dining room floor 2 seconds after you enter the room that would be AMAAAZZING. Thanks so much, kid.

Not everyone understands you. Sometimes in the grocery store old men make comments like “I used to get smacked for acting like that.” Sometimes other moms raise their eyes when you scream “POOOOOP!” on the playground and I imagine they’re thinking something like, “I wouldn’t let my kid say that.”

But I’ve been learning that the more I tell you “No,” the more appealing that activity becomes—so I try to only say no when it’s really important.

Instead, I’m focusing on teaching you WHAT to do (instead of what NOT to do.) Your eyes light up when I make it a race to put on your pajamas. Your chest puffs out when I give you a hard task to achieve and you complete it in record time. You swell with pride when I tell you what a role model you were in preschool that day.

So if you could not confess to the preschool teacher that mommy let you eat ALL the Halloween candy, (because she just got tired of telling you no over and over again), that would be fab. You’re so persistent. Let’s have it be our little secret, baby.

You see things most people don’t. You feel things other people can’t. You imagine things other people never will. And with that amazing perspective on the world, I am still learning how to guide you. How to decide which rules and limits are important, and which I should let slide.

I’m starting to understand how to excite you with visions of a hero’s journey—of how to channel your amazing spirit for good in the world. You have a tough exterior, but empathy runs through your veins. Will you become a policeman? A nurse? A Navy Seal? Whatever path you choose, I know you’re going to make a huge impact on the world with that energetic spirit.

But if you would please, FOR THE LOVE, stay in your bed at bedtime and not make me chase you 20 times to stuff you back under the covers again and again and again and again, I’d really appreciate that. Trust me, we both need the rest.

Because keeping up with you, guiding you, and getting to live life by your spirted side is the biggest adventure of my life.

Love always,