Letting Them Grow Up Strong

The idea of a son being sent
To battle
Is something I can’t imagine
The idea that my son
Would need to have that level
Of toughness
Is not what I would wish for him
But were that idea to be
His lot
I hope I passed on the strength for him to survive
I often wonder what kind of soldier
I would have been
Thrown into situations
Where enemies don’t care
About doctor’s notes
Or my parents’ concern for my safety
Where my team needs my best
Despite a nick to my skin
Or an ankle not liking the long hike
I hope my son has that toughness
Where he knows
To forge his way
Without the protections and supplications
I might offer him
For it’s his life to achieve
Not mine to ascribe
His toughness must come from within
Not be protected and nurtured
Like Velcro, helicopters, snow plows
Or any other parenting gig
I might employ

Do it for you, son
Do it until you can’t anymore
Do it despite my efforts to make it easier

The same goes for you, daughter

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