To My Son,
Tonight my heart broke into a million pieces. You were so upset and hurt and I couldn’t make it better for you. You don’t yet understand that when you hurt, my heart breaks too. When you cry, I cry too, in private. Tonight you were upset about middle school. All I could tell you is that “middle school is so hard”. And it is. It is so hard.
You are eleven years old and you are wise beyond your years. The problem is that other 11 year olds aren’t always with you. Their interests aren’t always the same. I love that you are practically an expert on Ancient Egypt and that you read faster than anyone I know. I love that you are fascinated by history and can quote any president. I love that you love to learn and have an amazing memory. Your brilliant mind will get you so far in life, my sweet boy.
I know it’s hard when kids call you names. I know that fitting in with your peers is so important in middle school. I know. I know that you think being a “geek” is the worst thing in the world right now. But, sweetheart, it is not. You are going to grow up to do amazing things. Remember when you were two years old and declared that you wanted to go to Harvard Law School, become a lawyer, be elected President of the United States, and then be a Supreme Court Justice? I do. Your life goals have not wavered. I have no doubt that you will do whatever it is you set your mind to. Those skills you have that set you apart from other middle schoolers and cause grief now will serve you well in the future, I promise.
I know it crushes your amazing spirit when others call you “fat”. It’s crazy how a little, three letter word can have such power. I know it bothers you that you don’t excel at athletics like you do everything else. I know you roll your eyes when I say you can’t be great at everything, but it’s true. What you don’t know is that everyone gets called names; everyone has something about themselves that they are insecure about. Kids in middle school are all struggling with their identities and figuring out how they fit in the world. Some kids feel too short, or too tall; too skinny, or too big. Sometimes kids put others down because they are insecure about themselves. I know that is so hard to understand right now. I know I struggled with understanding that when I was 11. I promise you that you are perfect just the way you are. Your body is growing and changing and you are the way God made you. I love you and I want you to love yourself too.
Please know that all the things that make you you; your determination, perseverance, quick wit, sense of humor, loyalty, and sense of fairness are all what make you such an amazing human being and will make you a successful adult. You are kind, and thoughtful, you have such a big heart. I am so proud of you. Please know that what is happening to you as an 11 year old is just a tiny blip in the story that is your life. You have so much more of a life story to tell. I know it will be amazing.
Thank you for talking to me when you are upset. I promise to support you as you make your way through these confusing middle school years . All I can do is listen and keep encouraging you to find kids who are like you. Hang out with people who are kind and who make you happy. Make sure you are being kind and making people happy as well. Please remember all the positive comments you hear throughout the day from your friends and teachers and not just the negative ones. Make sure that you are treating others in a way that you can be proud of. Love yourself so others can too.
My dear boy, the world is so much bigger than your middle school. Someday you will find just where you fit in. I can’t wait for you to be able to show the world what you’ve got.
With so much love,