Dear S, L and W,
Happy 14th birthday! I went back and looked over the years.
Like I always do.
I take this time to look back and who you were and who you are becoming.
I said this last year, and it’s still true today, “The older you get, the more I realize I don’t know. And the more I realize the window is closing with the time I have you here.”
You are each extraordinary.
I know you don’t feel like it a lot of the time, in this season deep in the heart of middle school and insecurities. There are people who criticize your looks, your voice, your athleticism, your brains, and all sorts of other giftedness.
As hard as this will be, try to tune them out. Try to make all that negativity background noise. That is about them. Not about you. People who attack are struggling with their own insecurities. Try to recognize they’re in a hard season and move forward.
This is nearly impossible to do, I realize. For me, as a full grown adult, this is HARD to do.
But I want you to know this: You. Are. Extraordinary.
Of course, your response to this is “yeah, yeah, you have to say that, you’re our mom.”
But I don’t.
It’s like when you get a haircut I don’t like. I don’t say, I LOVE THAT HAIRCUT! I say, well it’ll grow.
You have each matured so much over this past year.
Darling phenomenal L – as sad as you can get on some days, you are becoming a remarkable woman. Yes, a woman. One who is wicked funny and knows herself. Someone different from her school friends, which sometimes can be hard, but which is such a gift. Don’t ever conform. You keep working your butt off at school and at sports but also give yourself some grace. Give yourself some rest. It can be hard being a perfectionist. I know. I’m a recovering one (lucky me, I’m super far from perfection now!). Don’t worry if you haven’t found your spot yet. It can take years. You won the grit award in the spring and I can’t think of anything more fitting. You, my dear, look challenges in the eye and then you kick them in the face. (Sometimes literally.) I adore you. I know we have had more conflict this year but that’s also part of your growing up. And my love is unchanged. Plus you’ve got my admiration.
Tall, dark and amazing S – Wow have you stepped into your own skin. I have watched you lead this fall with amazement. You persevere despite setbacks on the field and off. You mentor other younger athletes and you have a huge group of buddies who you can work and play with. Each year has been a different season for you and I can see you bursting through this year with more focus (if that was possible), respect, drive, and intentionality. Sometimes it feels like you have a target on your back, but it’s only because you’re leading out front and it can be easy to take aim at you. Don’t let anyone, even me, stand in the way of your passion and your dreams. You have some big ones and if anyone could tackle them all, it’s you! I love you to the moon and back.
Wise winsome W – How far you’ve come and also how much you still are the same. I see how you’ve evolved over these middle school years and am blown away. From battling that frustration and temper, to growing through it and now being able to balance your deep emotions and caring with your expression of it. You are not just smart and handsome, you have an extraordinary work ethic. You always have. If things need to get done, you are the man to do it. You work tirelessly – at school, at home, at sports, and at the farm and ranch. You do it quietly and in a way that isn’t showy. While you have deep and powerful friendships, people are drawn to you not because of anything you do or say but because of who you are. How we can all be better by spending time with you. Don’t let the practical get in the way of your passions. I love you more, and always will.