Today You Are Fourteen

by Kathy on October 2, 2017 · 0 comments

in Birthdays, Blessed, Family, Friends, Gratitude, Journey, Life, Love, Memories, Parenting, Relationships, School, Sean, Siblings, Time, Transitions

Stop the world
Take a picture
Try to capture
To ensure this moment lasts
We’re still in it, but in a minute –
That’s the limit –
and this present will be past

~ Sankoff and Hein (Come from Away)

As you enter this second year of being a teen, I find myself wanting to freeze time, as the world does seem to be spinning, and the time flying by, too fast for me.

You often speak of 13 being an unlucky number, but it sure was an epic year in your life!

And the Cubs actually won the World Series for the first time since 1908!

It’s hard to know where to begin, when I think back to all the awesome adventures you’ve had since you became a teenager and I feel so blessed and lucky that I got to experience many of them with you.

From seeing Hamilton in Chicago, in December, after listening to the original broadway cast recording (OBC) non-stop for months to our fun and relaxing last-minute family spring break trip to Clearwater Beach, FL…

Then we got to travel together with your 7th grade class (and some of their parents) to our nation’s capital in April, for four jammed-packed wonderfully exhausting days seeing everything from Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon Memorial to Mt. Vernon, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

And of course there was our family trip to NYC in August, which included getting to see Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, as well as two Broadway musicals, with most of their original broadway casts, that were nominated for and won Tony awards this year: Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away! Immersing ourselves in both OBC recordings all summer made seeing them live and meeting some of the cast members at the stages doors all the more incredible!

You continue to love all things Nintendo, Pokémon and video game related, which made your first time at the Nintendo World Store, while we were in New York City, as amazing as you imagined it would be!

You added Nifty Fifties, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Antigone, and Into the Woods to your own theater credits, loving every show you participate and perform in at our local Beverly Arts Center. And it was bittersweet to see Mr. Tim, your long-time mentor/director, leave for graduate school, after working with and learning from him for so many years there.

I am proud of the ways you have made service a significant part of your life: as a boy scout, an alter server at our parish, with your religious education class (making lunches for those who are less fortunate in a nearby suburb), as a member of National Junior Honor Society at Keller, and volunteering with the Summer Learning Program at our neighborhood library.

And I love that you are interested in discussing and trying to make sense of current events, as I was at your age. You seem to share my frustration witnessing the fallout from, and reality of, having Donald Trump as President. You know how heartbroken I was when Hillary Clinton, whom I worked to elect and wanted so much to lead our country after President Obama, did not win the electoral college. That said, I am not giving up and will continue to try to be (and work for) the change I wish to see in our (country and) world.

I am impressed with how you are becoming more independent and responsible, riding your bike to/from so many of your extra-curricular activities, babysitting for your sister, and doing chores around our house.

You are so good with Abby and I am grateful for all the ways that you help her when she needs or asks for it, including answering homework questions and walking her home from the bus stop after school. I am glad that you get along so well (most of the time) as, with your six-year age difference, I wasn’t sure that would be the case.

Thank you also for helping us honor your sister Molly’s short life. From our visits to her grave at the cemetery, to participating in events like the Walk to Remember with other local bereaved families yesterday, and all the other thoughtful ways you help us her memory alive.

I am so happy that you continue be part of a group of friends at school you have so much in common and enjoy hanging out with. When I chaperone field trips or volunteer at Keller, I enjoy getting to chat with you and them together, which reminds me how special it is to find people who get you and vice versa.

It is an exciting and somewhat overwhelming time, as we navigate the high school search with you. I am so curious where you will end up next year and know that you will make it work and thrive, wherever that may be.

This weekend we celebrated Abby and your birthdays together with our Axe and Benson family, as we do every year, and I was reminded how much I appreciate that our loved ones live close and we are able to gather to celebrate these special milestones. As you know, I didn’t grow up living near to my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and am glad you get to see and spend time with our extended family often.

Being your mom is the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done, and will likely ever do, in my life. There is no map and you know I am often making it up as I go.

As our first-born, you get to be a guinea pig much of the time for Daddy and me. Thank you for your patience as we do our best to help you find your way in this world.

I often wonder if I am being too hard on you, or not hard enough, as I attempt to set boundaries, and encourage you to develop healthy habits and routines that will set you up for success in school, work, your relationships and life in general.

I love you so much, Sean!

We have so much fun together and I look forward to many more awesome adventures in this next year of your life!

I wish you a very Happy 14th Birthday!

Sincerely,
Me

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