Dear Pre-Teen Son,
You are now 12 years old – one year away from being a teenager. I was excited for you as a baby, toddler and even an elementary school kid but TEENAGER … I am not ready. Since you recently came home to let your dad and me know that you have a girlfriend, it got me thinking and there is a lot I want to talk to you about when it comes to being a pre-teen. I am so excited for you to learn and grow more into the young man you are changing into, but there are some things that I want to make sure I tell you first.
- Hygiene is important. Look, I get it taking showers is totally overrated, but I promise you will feel better and everyone around you will appreciate it…especially the girls.
- You are perfect exactly how you are. That pressure that you feel isn’t needed. You are a smart, handsome, fun dude, and those who don’t see that do not matter. Hold on, you will find your tribe.
- Middle school is awkward. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this and let you figure it out just like I did, but it’s true. I have NEVER met anyone who said, “Middle school years were my favorite years.” So sit back and try to enjoy the awkward ride. Everyone in class with you is feeling just as awkward as you are, I promise.
- Respect goes a long way. I know I sound old, but bear with me. Respect for your classmates, girlfriends, teachers and administrators will make your middle school and high school journey a whole lot smoother. Spread kindness and I promise it will come back to you.
- Go to all the school dances, parties, football games, etc. You will meet new people, have new friends and get to experience school in a whole other way.
- Don’t judge books or people by their cover. You may see someone who doesn’t “look” like someone who would want to be your friend but try it out. You may be surprised. Be open to friends hiding in all different types of people. You can learn about them and they may even learn a little bit from you.
- Try out for everything. You may not think you are good enough and you will surprise yourself. Even if you don’t make the team, you have learned and grown through try outs and there is always next year. Keep playing, keep practicing – you will get there. You might surprise yourself and be really good at something you have never even considered.
- Listen to your mentors. I get it, you will eventually get tired of hearing me ramble on and on about what you should and should not do, but I am doing my best to surround you with people who love and car e for you. Through church and school you have adults around you that have your best interest at heart. Pull up a chair, share your feelings and listen for what they have to say.
I wish I could promise you that you teenage years will be filled with all happy memories. I wish I could tell you that your heart won’t get broken or that you will make every team you try out for, but I can’t promise those things. Just know when those things happen, I am here for you. You may be taller than me, but you will always be my baby and I will always fight for what is right for you! Remember every now and then to bend down and give your Mama a hug – I love them just as much now as I did 12 years ago when I first hugged you so tight.
All my Love,