You’ve reached the age where I can distinctly remember that I considered my own life to be very “difficult.” Like, middle school really stunk. I thought 6th-grade math was really hard, I’d accidentally gotten my hair cut into a puffy mullet, and friendships with girls my age were really complicated.
I’ve been worried about you entering middle school, about how you’d adjust to such a big campus, whether you’d have trouble making new friends, if you’d be able to earn really good grades in accelerated classes … It turns out, you’re doing just fine. But you do this thing that I’m told is totally NORMAL where you only speak like 10 words a day to me, so you know, BE PATIENT WITH ME WHEN I WORRY.
One thing I love about you is that even at 12, you haven’t lost your keen imagination or your sense of play. You still love to line your Unifix Cubes up on the table, and you’ll play with them for hours. I have no idea what you’re doing with them, but it’s definitely imaginative play. And you love to play with Nick, Jake and Amelia – particularly Amelia. You give her piggyback rides, shoulder rides, you swing her around, tickle her … and she begs you for more until YOU cry for mercy.
We’re so much closer to the end of our time with you at home than we are to the beginning. I think about that a lot, and it brings tears to my eyes. Two-thirds of our time with you as a full-time son and brother is over … I can’t believe it. (I’m making a mental list of colleges that are within a 30-minute drive of our house.) (But don’t let that sway your future decision in any way.)
In just a few months we’re scheduled to leave this house for a new-to-us house just a few blocks away, away from the only house you’ve ever known, away from the house where Daddy and I brought you home from the hospital, where I rocked you every night in the rocking chair and laid you down to sleep in your crib. I know we’ll manage it, but just thinking about all of the memories that I have to pack up of you – my firstborn – to take with me, well, it takes my breath away.
My middle-schooler, my Boy Scout, my partner-in-crime … I’m so proud to call you my son.
I love you,