September 2021


W ell, here we are at the stage of your life I have simultaneously anticipated with excitement but also feared to the Nth degree. I think I have had these feelings because I can still so vividly remember what it was like to be a teenager. Your infancy, toddler and small childhood consisted of your father and me shooting from the hip when relating to you because we had little to no memory of what it was like to be a baby. You’re still here and don’t completely hate us, so I guess our aim was pretty good! In all seriousness, the years we are embarking upon are about to be full of some truly epic moments. If the last decade-plus is any indication of how fast these years will fly, we are in for a wild ride. So, I wanted to take the time now, at the beginning, to write down something I want you to always remember as you continue to grow up and become more independent. I know if I don’t tell you now, I will inevitably forget to remind you of this every time I should, and this information is too important for you not to have at key moments in your life. So, here goes... First of all, your teenage years are going to be full of some FANTASTIC “first” moments: your first dance, your first time to drive a car, your first time representing your school as an athlete or scholar in a competitive arena, your first date, your first time to vote, your first acceptance letter to college, and that’s just naming a few! These are moments you will remember fondly. It’s the good stuff. While you’re experiencing your “firsts,” you will probably be nervous, anxious, and possibly a little afraid. That’s totally normal. Don’t let these feelings stop you. Go out there and get it done! Once you get started, the nerves will disappear,


EvenThen: A Reminder to My Teenage Child

and you will get to enjoy it. And remember, while you are out there experiencing all the “firsts,” you are loved. There are also going to be some low moments during your teen years: getting your heart broken, breaking someone else’s heart, failing to make a team or a good grade, failing to make your curfew and being grounded for a while. Your eyes are going to be opened to things you have been sheltered from because you weren’t ready to experience them yet. You’ll see stuff like the hardships and realities of how ugly the world can be. You will experience adversity and encounter roadblocks when moving towards some of your goals. These times can be hard and you’re going to feel you are the only person on the face of the earth who has ever walked a path as difficult as this. But you will be wrong. Everyone experiences these lows to some degree. So, when you feel lonely, demoralized, discouraged, and disillusioned, especially then, remember you are loved. As a teenager, you will also acquire more freedom and responsibilities. The older you get, the less I will be involved in the daily minutia of your activities and relationships. While this is super hard for me (because I enjoy knowing all the things when it comes to you), this is right and the way it should


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