Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thirteen Rides Around the Sun

Dear Satchel,

Happy 13th ride around the sun!  You are now officially a teenager!

This birthday is a very special one as it marks the path from childhood to adulthood.  We call this stepping stone the coming of age because it's the transitional period when boys become young men.

Over the course of the year, we gave you some challenges to complete, a rites of passage before your 13th birthday and you have completed them all:

We challenged you to get certified in CPR and First Aid because this is not only a valuable skill to have, but it was something outside your comfort zone, and yet so aligned with your caring nature.  You took a course through the Red Cross and you learned CPR, how to use a defibrillator, and the Heimlich.  You passed the test and became certified. That's quite an accomplishment!

Another challenge was to learn how to do your laundry, and you tackled that challenge with ease.  And since then you have taken on the task of folding your own laundry and putting it away.  This is a huge help and demonstrates maturity and responsibility.

We challenged you to cook a meal for a friend, and you not only have met that challenge, but you have impressed your friends with your quesadillas.

We challenged you to learn about your protest rights and you took the ACLU class on student rights.  You then attended your first school walk-out against gun violence.  Its important to know what your rights are so that you can make informed choices and stand up for what you believe in, and be the change you wish to see in the world.

We challenged you to learn about conscientious objection and you attended a talk by attorney J.E. McNeil, the former executive director of the Center on Conscience and war.

We challenged you to go to your first march / rally and you attended the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington DC.  This was your first major protest, and you were nervous about it, but you did it!

And there were other acts of kindness and courage that you did all on your own which show us that you are becoming a kind, compassionate, generous and courageous young man:

When a boy on the bus dropped and broke his pottery, you offered to fix it for him.  You carried it home and went straight to work gluing the pieces back together, then returned a perfectly mended pottery to the boy in the morning.  That was so incredibly kind, Satchel, and is an example of the wonderful young man you are becoming.

Another example of your thoughtfulness and generosity is the day you told me that a boy in your grade has no money for lunch and doesn't bring any food so you've been buying him lunch every day.  This made us extremely proud.  It's the kind thing to do, and you've been doing it.

More recently, when I was preparing a dish for my friend's moving party, you decided that you wanted to contribute and you made a dessert for the party all by yourself.  It meant so much to me that you wanted to participate and it made the bbq all the more special.

You consistently demonstrate courage by standing up for yourself, and for others, and for speaking out against things that you know are harmful, even at the risk of being teased, or picked on.  This is an admirable quality and one we should all aspire to.

You still have a great sense of humor, and you made me laugh so hard at the allergist office one day that I thought they might ask me to leave.  You've discovered that you enjoy composing digital music and you are very good at it.  Your lego creations are very impressive and I marvel at all the things you can make from slime, to mini crossbows...I think you can make anything.

I feel so blessed to be your mama.  The day you were born was the best day of my life.

On this 13th anniversary of your birth, may you recognize all that you have accomplished, may you notice all the talents you possess,  and may you know that you are deeply loved.  I celebrate you!

 (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

Happy 13th ride around the sun, Satchel.
Thank you for being my son.

All my love,

(Posted at the time of your birth)

*To celebrate with friends, you chose a trampoline park and obstacle course!  An excellent choice as everyone had to find their balance, challenge themselves, learn to take a fall, and trust themselves, but most of all HAVE FUN!  Afterwards, we went to an Italian restaurant for pizza and ice-cream cake.  

As our gift to you, we will heading to NY on the last day of school to sleep with wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center.  Aroooooooo!


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posted by Wendy at 12:50 PM


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