Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Letter On Your 15th Birthday

Dear Sambo,

I have no idea if I'm doing any of this right. I'm sure you think I'm failing miserably most days. But I promise you, I try my best, with LOTS of God's and my village's help! And I'll always apologize to you because you had to be my guinea pig on this parenting thing! It ain't easy. 

But when I take a step back from the day to day chaos, from being a "cringy" mom, our clashing tastes in music, and all your eye-rolling, I see the unique, amazing person you're becoming. Your sweet heart and the way you love your family, the way you recognize the hurt and needs of others, your passion for music and talent on the guitar, and the handsome young man you've become, are all things that make a momma smile. But more than anything!...I love that you feel like "fitting in" is not a good option for you, because you were definitely born to stand out. 

So about all this turning 15 stuff. First of all, that went by REALLY fast. "TBH", I really do NOT want to teach you to drive. That scares me in more ways than you can imagine. Until now, I've faced the challenges head on. But dad will just have to do that, and I will just close my eyes and rock in the corner. Remember...eyes on the road, hands at 10 and 2, and mostly, that no phone call, text message, Snapchat, or anything else is more important than your safety and the safety of the people you're sharing the road with! Pull over if you need to respond immediately. 

I know you're at an age where things will be offered to you. Things that are not safe, or healthy and things you aren't ready for...even if you think you are. People who say "no" are stronger than the ones who say "yes". The "nos", they're just blending in. As Muzzy always told me, "people judge you by the company you keep." Remember your faith. Remember your goals. And remember that in the words of Boppa that "it only takes one time" and "nothing good happens after midnight". And remember that absolutely no one got anywhere good in a body bag. So pick good friends. 

Speaking of body...your body is a temple. Trash in - trash out. Make good choices. What you do today effects your tomorrow. Keep up the great work with golf and weightlifting. And remember my obsession with Marky-Mark. He did not get those abs sitting on his computer or eating a whole box of Cheez-its, and the container of cupcakes his mom bought for his brother's class. 

I'm sure that you've already realized this, but I also want you to know that girls are awesome! They might smell good, be pretty, funny, and some appear smarter than others, but all of them are STRONG. So strong that they will crush your heart. Choose one wisely! You may feel particularly entranced by a few, but they are NEVER to be taken advantage of. I don't give a rip what the circumstances are...NO, MEANS NO. You're a boy, and it will without a doubt ALWAYS be your fault. Girls are to be respected and they are never objects to be exploited. I know you've heard this a million times already, but it's worth repeating. Thankfully, you've got an excellent role model in your dad. Keep watching what he does! 

Mind your manners. You are now old enough that your manners - good or bad - are becoming more of a reflection of you, than how you've been raised. It's still pretty basic. Say please and thank you, yes ma'am/sir and no ma'am/sir to your elders and authority figures, extend your hand, look people in the eye, open and hold doors for ladies, the elderly, and the disabled, and for the love of all things...surrender the parking place - the extra steps are good for you and please let people OFF the elevator before you get on (makes me crazy). Trust me! It's appreciated. Kindness always wins, and as always, just treat others as you'd like to be treated! 

I'm gonna talk about the "S" word now. Sorry! You roll your eyes when it comes up, but school really IS important. It comes easier to some more than others. I know you'd rather eat glass than get up and go most days.  But you HAVE to go or we'll go to jail, and you'll more than likely have to dig ditches for minimum wage to support your brothers and #BadArnold if you don't. Not kidding. Just do the work. If anyone gets it, I do! I got my Masters in Procrastination. It took me 5 years to get out of high school and 6 to finish college. I don't recommend it. Brady Souder and your dad lectured me in college one night, as I sat procrastinating in the same spot for hours and hours. Their message to me was along the lines of...Your other options don't look too hot without an education. So hurry up and finish so we can go out! I hope you're pickin' up what I'm puttin' down, Sam. And always remember how your first summer job felt. That's pretty much what life would be like without school.

At any rate...Keep the faith! God WILL carry you when you feel like you can't carry yourself. If you don't know what to do, ask Him first, then us. He will never steer you wrong and cause you harm. He continues to sculpt you and so far He's doing a fine job. You are precious to all who know you, Sambo and I hope you will never doubt your greatness! So CHEERS to 15! Make the best of it and the years to come. Oh Happy Day! We love you. 


P.S. I know Fulton and Oliver probably wonder why the heck I always write to/about you. One day they'll realize that because of the gigantic learning curve parenting you that there's really not a whole lot to preach about and apologize for with them. I can focus on the frilly stuff. So technically, they've been spared in the long run. 

1 comment :

  1. Apincelli57@gmail.com3:42 PM

    So sweet and true. I love that you wrote this letter. It will be even more meaningful as the years go by. You and Shannon are wonderful role models with fantastic kids. It IS hard. He'll understand one day, too. Keep it up!


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