Dear Sweet Son, The World Awaits You
By Chrystal Rambarath
For years I anticipated this day, but on the eve of its dawn, I am overcome by the sentimentality of this significant milestone. In a few hours, I will wake my son, my baby, for the last five years, to begin kindergarten.
Unlike his sister, he has an earlier summer birthday and embarks on his academic career soon after his birthday. I thought this day would feel different to me. It would be the day I can finally step back from full-day mothering and truly lean into my career. I took delight in the anticipation of all the hours of the day I could now reclaim.
My son certainly held end his of the deal. He is a brave, smart and confident little boy. He strode right into his new school, into his new classroom, and greeted his teacher on Meet the Teacher Day. He is excited and calm about facing this new chapter in his life.
On the other hand, I, who have spent the summer months carefully shopping for uniforms, backpacks, lunch boxes, school supplies, and carefully getting everything ready, am awake and sleepless. I am thinking of all I want to say to my son as he starts this journey…
Dear Sweet Son,
Until now, you were primarily my baby, and I was primarily your world. Even as an infant, you would wake up just after your sister drifted off to be fed, changed, and have mommy time. Those were the sweetest moments. As you grew older, you never failed to shower me with love and affection, showing me love no one has shown me before.
But tomorrow, you take your first major step away from your natal home and unto the path that will inevitably take you away from me, as you rightfully become your own person. Your dad assures me that you will be fine and that you will have lots of fun. I know, he told me that he met his lifelong best friend - before me, that is - on the storytime mat in his kindergarten class.
Still, and while it may seem silly, I cannot shake the significance of this moment. I want to share these thoughts with you so that you may take them with you throughout your journey.
You are a sweet and kind little boy, and I hope you always will be. As you grow into a man, I hope you will be unafraid to display these qualities and see them as strengths. We desperately need more empathetic men.
You are brave and inquisitive. Please always continue to be both. You’ve often shocked me, scared me, and amazed me. Be a child as long as you can be. The world is yours to discover. I hope you will never tire of asking why or never cease to be fearless in the pursuit of the answer.
You are intelligent. You constantly surprise us with the ease with which you grasp concepts. And your confidence in what you know is astounding and beyond your years. I hope you will never let anyone undermine your intelligence or chip away at your confidence.
You possess a strong sense of justice. I saw you stand up for your sister against much older children. You are attuned to your innate sense of wrong and right and you bravely act on them. May you grow into your noble convictions and never stop speaking up for what is just and right.
You are confident in your own individuality. Even as a little boy, you seem to know who you are. You are undeterred by others and are confident in yourself to do exactly as you want. I hope you continue to be this way, forging your own path, and reaching the goals you set for yourself. Others will try to distract you or discourage you but I hope that you will always believe in yourself.
You are loved and valued. Your family loves you more than words or actions can show. You will never be alone even when we are not with you. Whatever you do, wherever your life takes you, we will always be your loudest, most dedicated cheerleaders.
My son, until now, it has been my job to teach you and to protect you. Now, I enter into a partnership with your teachers to continue to build on this foundation. I must take a step back and let you learn, even when you make mistakes. Just like when you were learning to walk, you often fell down, in life, you will stumble. But you must get up each time and move forward.
Similarly, just as you make what you can out of the blocks and legos in your box, you learn to make the most of what you have in the time you have. Please never become discouraged and use all the tools available to you. Remember how loved you are and always look ahead, reaching for your dreams.
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