Letter to My Freshman Son

Dear first born who is now a Freshman,
A friend was visiting with her husband and infant baby the other day and asked me,“Do you miss this?” as she motioned her head toward her sweet baby.
It took me a few seconds to answer her confidently.
“Nope.”
It might have come across as calloused, but I was sincere.
I cherished the noises you made while nursing.
I loved bible schools, swim lessons at the Y, and trying to figure out why your skin was orange (too many carrots). 🙂
I scrapbooked and journaled and documented the crap out of your first everything.
Even down to who was at your 1st birthday party.
But I can’t waste time missing your babyness.
In a few days, you will walk away from me towards the high school and into a wonderfully exciting, sometimes terrifying time of your life.
I will watch you take steps away into a new adventure just like I did 13 years ago as you took your first steps across the blue carpet at Kindermusik.
Watching you walk away from me and into the plan God has for you, no matter where it may take you or what it may look like, is exactly why God loaned you to me in the first place.
I’m trusting that it is going to be an amazing future.

I’m not going to miss this though because I’m too busy being sad about then.
This right now is going to be so exciting.
Your first love.
First kiss.
Your first heartbreak.
First dance.
You have a lifetime of “firsts” coming up that I refuse to miss because I’m sad that you’re not a baby anymore.

I do have some advice for you though.
But before I do, I want to release you from the impossible burden of perfection.
I know you aren’t perfect.  So don’t pretend to be.
The good news is…I’m not either.
Neither are your friends or your teachers.
We all got stuff.

Please love yourself.
I know there are things you don’t love about yourself, but take it from someone who has hated herself for far too long…please don’t.
You are such a cool kid.
You are smart and funny and witty.
You have amazing hair.
You have a huge, loyal heart.
You have so much potential.

Please believe in yourself.
Stop telling yourself, “you can’t.”
Have the courage to try.
Have the courage to fail.
Have the courage to try again.
Don’t be 40 and look back on high school and have a list of “I wish I would have, but I was too afraid.”

Please remember that everything you do reflects Jesus and it reflects our family.
Whether it’s holding open a door for a teacher, or helping a kid who’s being bullied, or saying yes to someone offering you drugs.
Your choices won’t make me love you any less.
Middle school was FULL of not so stellar choices.
And you’re going to make mistakes.
But here’s a new start to learn from them and be better.
They don’t define you.
They don’t determine your value.
Your identity is in Christ alone.
Especially on the days when you don’t feel very valuable.

Please remember to be yourself.
Have I told you what a cool kid you are?
And not because you remind me of my high school self. 😉
Don’t waste so much energy being something you’re not.
Ever since you were little, people who took the time to get to know you, appreciated you.
Not everyone is going to like you.
That’s okay.  
To hell with them.
Don’t waste time and energy on people who are too self-absorbed and “important” to get to know you.

So freshman son, raising you thus far hasn’t always been roses and rainbows.
Let’s be honest, your dad and I had no clue what we were doing.
We still probably don’t…
But as you enter high school for the first time I pray that we allow God to pour His grace and mercy over both of us.
We are going to have a lifetime of you walking away from me.
My prayer is that you allow God to lead you.
He’s a good Daddy.
And He loves you more than I ever could.
Here’s to a new first.
Love,

Mom

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