Tomorrow is the first day of school… summer went by way too fast! There was so much I was hoping we could do, but the time just ran out. I’ll always remember this summer though – this was the summer you turned into a camping maniac – two whole weeks at sleep-away camp plus an awesome camping trip with dad and me!
Tonight, as you nervously (just like your mom!) fiddled with your new school supplies and adjusted your backpack straps, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I hope that you will learn throughout the years, only some of which will be taught in the class room.
I hope you learn to make friends easily. Since I know that your future will include moving every few years, I worry about you often being “the new kid.” I hope you’ll let that great personality shine through for everyone to see. I know right now you talk a big talk to impress your friends, but who you really are is pretty awesome. I hope you’ll learn that.
I hope that you learn to always keep trying. When things don’t come easily for you (like tying shoes and riding a bike without training wheels – seriously, you are SO my son!), don’t give up! You will get it!
I hope you learn to listen to and respect others, even when you don’t agree with what they’re saying. Everyone deserves to be heard, dear son. I hope you’ll find your own voice too. What you have to say is important!
I hope you will keep your adventuresome spirit. Even though it nearly gives me a heart attack when you do a front flip into water that is waaaaay over your head, it also makes me very proud of you. I love to see you climb, and jump, and skate, and try new foods. You have your dad’s spirit in that way. Don’t lose that. Don’t let falling sometimes stop you from seeking new and exciting experiences.
I hope you learn to love to read. I know you hate it right now, but I’m praying that will change in time. There are great stories out there that can take you places you’d never go otherwise. So I’ll keep pushing you, and you’ll keep being mad at me, but someday, you’ll find a story that will move, amaze, inspire, or scare you, and it will have all been worth it.
I pray you’ll learn about Jesus. I hope that you’ll eventually understand what it means to follow him, to live for him, and to find a love that will never let you go. I pray with my whole heart that I will be a good example to you of what it means to be a follower of God. May my life look the same, whether hundreds of eyes are looking at me, or just two beautiful brown ones so that you will never be confused or misled.
I hope that you will stay sensitive, but develop a thick skin. Is that even possible? I want you to care about people enough that you’ll take up for them and be their friend when no one else will, but I pray you don’t get your feelings hurt too easily. (I am a wimp. I still remember a little girl in 2nd grade telling people that they couldn’t be her friend if they were my friend. That’s right – I remember you, you meanie! But I forgive you… mostly).
I want you to understand the comfort and safety of home. I hope you remember that no matter what you face out there in the world – the harshness that can sometimes come your way, here, at your home, with your family, there is a warm, soft place to land. I hope you’ll always be open to talk to us and let us in on your life.
Lastly, I pray you’ll stay seven years old forever. I want you to be my own little Peter Pan, and never grow up and have to worry about grown-up things. I know this one can’t really come true, so for just a moment, I will close my eyes and try super hard to remember you just as you are right this second, because these days are fleeting, and you’re growing up so fast.
I love you to the moon and back.