A letter to my perfectionist 13-year-old son while he comes to grips with his first B…
To my precious boy,
I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to see that very first B on your report card. It broke your perfect A streak and brought so many important lessons with it. As you can easily see, the world is still turning. Your mom, dad, and sister still adore you with all of our being. Teachers still respect you. Life is pretty much unchanged.
You worried for so long about making sure every line on that very non-defining piece of paper contained an A. I’ve watched with concern for years as you tried to make every paper, test, and simple homework assignment into a perfect representation. Just a few nights ago, I had to drag you from the computer as you attempted a college level memoir for what was meant to be a basic 7th grade in-class essay.
This B marks the end of an era, my love. It designates the moment you will start to look elsewhere for who you are and what you want to become. Please let me help you with this by sharing what I know to be true about you.
You are the kindest soul I’ve ever known. I’ll never forget when you jumped in my car after school last week, smiling with your whole handsome face, and told me about how you stood up for that poor boy who was being bullied. While everyone else either stood and watched or joined in, you went against the crowd, as you so often bravely do, and let that deserving boy know somebody cared. Because of you, he most likely felt understood and safe.
Your heart is so huge I fear at times it will burst from your chest. The love you show our family is beautifully overwhelming. When one of us is down, it becomes your mission to lift our spirits. You are the first to spring forward with tremendously thoughtful words or those long, comforting cuddles we’ve all grown to love so much.
I need you to hear this more than anything else. You will always be perfect in God’s eyes and His are the only ones that truly matter. I’m incredibly proud of the faithful young man you are becoming. Daddy and I couldn’t ask for a greater gift than for you to follow hard after Christ.
You will make mistakes. There is no question in that. But here’s the honest truth: you are forgiven, no matter what. You don’t have to prove yourself perfect for that gift. It was freely given to us by a man on a cross long ago and far away.
So, let this B allow you to move forward, my sweet, imperfect son. Keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Your family and friends love you immeasurably just the way you are.
All my love and respect,
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13