Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An open letter to my son on his first day of Kindergarten

September 12, 2016

Dear Will,

Today is your first day of Kindergarten. You are smiling and amped up, but I know you. I know that's anxious energy pulsing through you this morning.

I ask if you are excited, and you say yes, but I hear the catch in your voice. I know there is a big part of you that wishes you were spending another year where it's comfortable, where you know what to expect, where you're the Big Man on Campus.

I understand this, Boo. Change is hard. It will continue to be hard, even when you're 6. Even when you're 16. Even when you're 36. And, I imagine, even when you're 66.

When you are older, I will tell you how I lied awake, tossing and turning, the night before starting school or a new job. I will tell you how I ate lunch in my car the entire first week of a new gig because I didn't know where else to go. How I skipped parties and happy hours and events because I didn't know anyone else. I will tell you how I cried on the way home from work, in my office, during a conference call, in a meeting. How I quit a job after two weeks and went back to the place where I felt comfortable. How I resisted change time & time again, even when I knew it was inevitable. I will tell you those things later.

But today, I will tell you that I understand.

I know you need to observe a situation before making a move. I understand.
I know you like to be alone and sometimes need space. I understand.
I know you don't take friendship lightly, and it can take you time to make friends. I understand.
I know that you don't always want to talk about things with me because that makes them feel too real. I understand.
I know you are a brave, independent, wacky, bold, sensitive spirit who needs to do things in his own time, in his own way. I understand.

When you are older, I will tell you how I traveled and adventured and jumped off high things and took risks and faced my insecurities and learned lessons and saw the world and made a difference and made mistakes and swallowed my fears and swallowed my pride and took chances and took giant leaps of faith and fell down and got up again and loved deeply and hurt deeply and changed and changed and changed again. One day, I will tell you those things. And you'll understand.

But for today, I will tell you this. You are brave, you are bold, you are loved.

Go get 'em, kid.


"Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." 

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