Thursday, September 22, 2016

And We Have a Teenager.

It's really hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that we have a teenager in our house now... well as of 10:01 p.m. tonight.  

Thirteen years ago our first born joined our family.  Now we have a teenager who is on the cusp of becoming an adult, navigating through teen angst, friends, girls, sports, academics, etc.

I must say I am very proud of this young man.  He is a loyal, trustworthy, kind, smart, beautiful soul that I thank God for every day.  

So a letter to my son....


Dear Jack- 

Today you embark on your teenage years.  This is the 'next phase' in your life, as some would say.  
But I know, deep in my heart, that you'll be just fine.  You are growing up with such a fierce kindness and empathy for others and this is what will make you a man.   

Yes- you are bright and excel in school... but your excellence in school is not what defines you.   What defines you is how you treat others, how you respect young ladies, how you often think of others' feelings.  These are the qualities that make us immensely proud of you.   

Yes- you are a good athlete and have always excelled in sports.  But your excellence on the field is not what defines you.  What defines you is how you encourage your teammates, how you work hard no matter your size and strength, how you are committed to your team and coaches no matter what.  These are the qualities that will turn you into a leader, a trusted leader.  

What defines you Jack is not what people SEE... it's your character, your heart and your compassion for others.  Your Dad and I are immensely proud of you and your work ethic in school and on the field... but know that we are also proud of you for thinking about others and trying your best in all that you do.

Life is a journey son... a journey with ups, downs, highs and lows.  A journey where teamwork, compassion, resilience and loyalty will get you far in life.   No one will remember what you made on a test in 7th grade science - but they will remember how you treated them,  how you stood up for them, how you befriended them.  

As your parents we will always be here for you on your journey.  We expect you to make mistakes, to fail and flounder at times.... but it's how you come through the other side of these bumps along the journey that will define your life.   

As you begin your teenage years I challenge you to continue to think of others, to be a loyal friend and family member, to be kind.  It's not always easy, trust me, but tomorrow is another day.  

We love you Jack.

Mom and Dad

A look back...

Until next time....

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