Today Antonio starts 4th grade and I am feeling such a mix of emotions. Excited, nervous and sad are a few words that come to mind. When did my little baby grow up? He turns 10 in a few months and that’s when the math started to kick in. He is half way through his childhood. There are only 4 more years left until he begins High School. I see more of myself in him every day which is as excited as it is equally frustrating.
After thinking about the kind of person I hope he becomes and who he is right now, I decided it was time to write this 4th grader and future 9th grader a letter.
I’m typing this letter because I want it to have a permanent home on the internet. You are 9 and starting 4th grade. You come up to my nose in height and your t-shirts fit me a bit snug. (I can’t wait until we wear the same size!) It’s about that time to start talking about deodorant and why you should shower a minimum of 2x a day. Your cousin is your best friend. Your voice has started to change but you still hold my hand when we cross the street. You still kiss me good night. You let me kiss you good bye today even though I know it is embarrassing.
There is a little knot in my throat as I type this because I know there is a 4 years from now version of me reading this sobbing because her boy is starting high school. You are an amazing human: kind, smart, funny and loving. You have a veil of innocence as we’ve kept you in a bubble from the dangers of the world. What I need you to know is that the world can be a scary place. There will be kids who bully you and others in school. You will make mistakes in life. You will one day feel so completely lost and small in this big crazy world.
I promise you will be alright.
1. Always do your best. One day your best might be getting out of bed and showering. Keep pushing through.
2. Don’t engage with a bully. They are mean because they are hurting. They need love.
3. Follow your passion. Make sure whatever job you chose is because you are passionate about it. Money can’t fill a hole in your heart.
5. No means no. There are a lot of ways people can say no. “I’m not sure.”, “Stop.” “No.” People can even say no without using their words. Respect that.
6. Go on adventures. Don’t be afraid of the world. It is such a beautiful place.
7. Listen. On your journey through this world you will run into people of all walks of life. Listen to their stories. Ask them about their lives.
You are so loved by your family, friends, and people you don’t know. There are so many lives you have touched and you haven’t a clue. You have a heart of gold and can be anyone you want to be. Go be it.
Love ya kid,