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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To My Son, As He Begins School...

To my first baby,
Tomorrow you officially start school. Though it's just 9 short hours out of the entire week, I know this is the beginning of your true independence. The beginning of influence by people other than me and your dad, especially your peers. The beginning of me letting go and letting you make your own decisions and find your own way in life.

Today we sat together, just me and you, working on a puzzle - one of your favorite activities. You can almost see the comprehension on your face as you concentrate on figuring out where each piece joins with another as the picture starts to emerge.

Do you know how much people are like puzzle pieces, Connor? Everyone has a different shape. A different color, a different appearance.

But we all fit together in the big picture. We can all come together to make something complete, to make something beautiful.

Everyone has their own place.

Some fit in the middle, with bright colors and others on all sides of them. And some are outsiders, joining together with just a couple of other pieces on the edge of the picture. But we still need those so-called outsiders, you see, to make the puzzle work. There is a place for everyone, for every piece, in this big world.

You will spend a lot of time trying to find your place in the puzzle. With each activity that you participate in, each interest you pursue, each subject that you study, each friend that you make, you will be creating your own path, seeking your place in the puzzle.

Just remember, Connor, that everyone else is trying to find their own place in the puzzle too. Some won't fit into certain parts of the picture that you will, and you won't fit into certain parts that others will. And that's OK. There is a place for everyone, and everyone is important in building the puzzle.

So please know that you don't need to try to change your shape to fit in. You are who you are, and you are important. You are special, and you are loved. You are you. I hope you always strive to better yourself as a person, but don't conform just to try to fit in.

Be proud of who you are, what you look like, what you like and all of the important things you have to offer the world. And help others be proud of these things too, by accepting both their similarities and differences. If someone doesn't fit next to you on the puzzle, that doesn't mean they don't belong - everyone will make an important impact on the big picture. So tomorrow, as you leave our house to make new friends and learn new things, I pray that you will always treat others with kindness. That you will try to include instead of exclude. And that you will always listen to your heart when it tells you what the right thing to do is.

Happy first day of school tomorrow, to my incredible son who will always be my baby. I'm so proud of who you are, and I know you will do great things in your life.


  1. Yep...I cried. I'm almost 25 and I feel like I still need my mom to tell me those things today. You're a wonderful mom, Courtney!

  2. beautiful. As a teacher, I would love to share this with my class and my own children.

  3. Tears!

    This is so sweet! You're an outstanding, loving mother, and talented writer.

    Have great fun at school tomorrow, Connor!

  4. Beautifully said. Connor and Brenna are so lucky to have such caring, loving parents.

  5. WOW! That is very powerful Courtney! Yes, I cried also, I am a mom and grandma. I have watched your journey with your children and have to say that you are a beautiful person on the inside as well as on the outside. So many people can learn so much from you and your wonderful family. Connor is a handsome young man, and Brenna is beautiful little girl! God Bless! ;0)

  6. I've been reading your blog since Brenna was born, so I've watched Connor grow up, too. I'm so happy for this child, who has been an awesome brother, but will now become much more than that - a student, a leader, a reader/writer/fireman/musician/anything he wants to be. A Big Boy. I have an entire shelf in my preschool library for the subjects of Growing Up, Self Esteem, Feelings, Friends, Manners, and Safety. Connor has mastered all of that. The next shelf? SCHOOL!

    Mazel tov, Connor!

  7. What a perfect analogy! Great post!

  8. You are such a beautiful person and a wonderful mother!

  9. I think this is the best thing you've written. Love it.
    Good luck Connor - I'm so proud of the way you're growing up to be a kind, smart young man.

  10. Wow, what an amazing letter. Connor is a very lucky little boy to have a mummy who cares about him so much. That was such a brilliant way to explain things, just brilliant. Oh, and it made me cry too!

  11. What a beautiful note. You are a wonderful mother - your kids are truly blessed to have you as their Mom.

    If ever you're in a "Mom of the Year" competition, you've definitely got my vote :)

  12. Like you, I am a professional writer and have written and published several pieces about our large family. People always tell me they love to read things like that -- and my kids appreciate them, too. Someday (when I'm not working full-time, running a freelance business and taking care of aging parents,a husband, all these kids and now young grandkids, too) I want to put them together as a book for my kids and their children. It will be my gift to them. You are ahead of the game, with this blog. I think the note to Connor is one that he'll always cherish. Bless you and your lovely little ones as they grow up with such a caring and well-spoken Mom.

  13. Incredible...and that's coming from a writer.

  14. positively beautiful! Exactly how I felt sending my little boy off to preschool for the first time 2 years ago. I still shed a tear dropping him off for his 1st day of 1st grade yesterday. Thanks for writing that, made me cry!


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