Back in 2003, I sent our oldest child a message as she was moving from Elementary to Middle School. I keep it in my calendar notes and see it every so often. It is an interesting look into the somewhat fragile psyche of a the parent of young child who is growing up. It felt like something that should be placed here for “family posterity’…
H, April 14, 2003
As you know, your mother and I went to your middle school parent orientation tonight. After a brief intro program by the principal and some others, I left the cafeteria to see the 6th grade hallways and then come home to you and your brother and sister.
I was alone as I walked the halls, my every step echoing loudly down the silent and empty marble corridors. I looked at bulletin boards, at empty classrooms full of desks, at the endless row of lockers, and at the courtyard where you’ll spend sunny afternoons over the next few years.
As I walked, I remembered my years of middle school, and walking my own middle school hallways. I remembered the friends, the fun, the fears, and even the fight (did you know I bloodied a kid’s nose in 8th grade and got paddled by the principal for it? My one big middle school age indescretion….). Before I could even drive, I would cruise the hallways between classes imagining I was driving in heavy traffic(the hallways were crowded, as they will likely be for you), and I was seamlessly moving my 5 speed manual shift sportscar through all of the gears. You will likely have some goofy private moments of your own at Central.
The halls were very quiet tonight. As I walked, and looked, I tried to image what you would see, what you would hear, what you would experience, and what you would feel. And I prayed. I prayed for you, for your friends – both now and to come, and for your lives. I prayed for your influence on others – that you would grow, mature, and be a light and lift to the lives of others around you. There will be many kids that need that, every day. They may need just the one kind word or look that you give them. There will be others that need it, but spurn you despite their needs. You’ll have to endure some of that, but you are a strong and confident girl, and others will benefit from knowing you despite the problems you encounter with some.
I prayed for your growth: physical, mental, and spiritual. I prayed that you would learn, grow in wisdom and discernment, and develop a loyalty and love for others even greater than you possess today. I prayed for your spirit, that you may remain sweet and untainted by the world and it’s ways. I prayed for your soul, that you will come to know Christ more fully each day and will shine His glory and love to those around you. I prayed that you would have fun.
These will be fun and challenging years, and you will grow and change in may ways. Just remember how much I love you and your mother loves you. Know deep inside how very proud we are of you, no matter what, and that we are always here for you. You can always come and talk to us, as we will seek to talk to you.
I guess this is enough from your goofy dad, for now. Be on watch, you may see these words again, just when you least expect or may need them the most.
I love you,