This letter was written for the thirteenth birthday of my son. He celebrated his birthday last month and just like any other mother of a teenage boy, I felt the need to tell him how I felt on that day and how I could never share all this with him verbally ( he never has the time and the patience) so I resolved to writing him a letter that he could read at leisure and can go back to whenever he wants. I am sharing this letter on this blog for other parents who are in the same boat .
You are officially a teenager now, the age that you always wanted to be. It is an age of miracles, an age of awe and wonder. The age to form your lifelong beliefs, memories and build abilities that will help you in your life.
I may not have told you this very often but you are a fine young boy and you are going to be one fine man. I am not saying this because I am your mother but because I see you every day. I see you when you come running downstairs to help me with my overstuffed bags, I see you when you get up in the night to cover the blanket over your sister, I see you when you help your dad build up the racks or offer to accompany him to the local shop, I also see you when you never let your grandmother carry any bags and carry them yourself instead. I know in my heart, that you are going to be one fine man one day.
I remember never telling you directly about the diagnosis of your sister. You were just 6, too young to be told about the science of chromosomes or the defective chambers of her heart. But I was happily shocked at the way you took that all in. You coped up so well, better than your papa and I could. You celebrated your 7th birthday without us, while we were in the hospital with your sister and you never complained, I knew it then, that I have a fine boy with me. Your love and concern for your sister gives me courage and hope for the future. And let me confess that when I see you holding your little sister’s hand up the stairs, I know she is going to be in good hands.
Sometimes you wonder why we don’t have as much money as some of your friends do and how you’d like to do things that they so easily do. When you tell me about the third foreign trip of your friend, I see that tinkle of hope in your eye. When you tell me about the birthday gift of iPhone 6 that your classmate got, I know, deep in your heart, you want to be that boy, to have all that he has, but my son, let me tell you something that your papa and I have learnt over the years. We are what we are because it was meant to be this way. We have or don’t have few things, because it is going to help us become what is intended for us, for you. All the great men in history did great things not because they all were filthy rich but because they made best out of their circumstances. The difference between what you have and what you could’ve had can never be filled, so make the best of what you’ve got. I know you will.
Also, I know at this age, it might feel that money is all that matters but think carefully. You’ve always been a popular boy and a star student for your teachers, which didn’t come with money. You earned it because of your attitude, hard work and honesty. We might never be able to take you on a world tour on a five star cruise or we might, but that doesn’t change how much we love you and how fortunate you are.
Dear son, what your papa and I have achieved or accomplished over the years is because of a lot of hard work and we are proud of the same. And we expect you to have the gratitude for the things you have. A house, a car, a great school to go to, friends, football coaching and three meals a day isn’t something that everybody gets. (I forgot the unlimited internet :))
Dear son, this age is also about temptations and whether you tell us or don’t tell us about everything, we know that you stand everyday to fight against the same. It might all look too good at your age but I know somebody like you would know what all these can mean for your future. You are an intelligent boy. I love it when you tell me not to upload too many pictures on social sites or about my web footprints. I am glad you know and understand technology more than me and while I know, you will be careful, I sometimes still worry when you play online with strangers. I want to tell you that there are all kind of people, good and bad, and sometimes your young mind may not get their ways, so be careful and if there is something, anything that you want to share or tell us, we will be there.
Did I mention that you are a wonderful friend? I have seen it in the eyes of the boys who would not go without you to the park and who’d flock our house every Saturday, Sunday to play with you. When you give a pat to the guy, who couldn’t score a goal, I know you are a good friend. And I would want you to remain this way. You might come across boys of all kind, sometimes you’d be expected to behave or do things to confirm to certain group in the school, don’t! If you don’t think something is not right, don’t do it just because it is considered to be cool. What is ‘cool’ is to be able to stand up to what you believe and from what I have seen about you, you are one of those. I trust you.
Choose your friends carefully because they are going to hold your hand in difficult times. Stay away from those who want you because of what you own. You don’t need friends who are with you because of your X-Box or PS4 but those who are with you because of you. I know you are capable of this.
I can’t possibly tell you how proud I feel when your teachers tell me about your helpful attitude in the class. When they tell me that you are positive, hard working and are nice to others, I feel we have succeeded in bringing you up. Also about the rules, I might not be able to explain it all the time and you might feel I am over anxious and rigid at times but I want you to know that your papa and I. only want the best for you. Trust us!
You are a little miracle in our lives and we are so glad to have you. We may not say this all the time but we are so proud of you. Your attempts at various things from music, sports, theatre, science and writing have always made us believe that you can do anything you put your mind to.
You have a great future and we’d like to help you with all that we can. We want you to flourish in the world of possibilities that you are creating for yourself by paying attention to your studies and other activities now.
Create memories, create friendships, and create a future that we all are proud of.
God bless you
Your ever loving mom