Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday 13: 13 wishes for my son on the occasion of his 8th grade graduation

I was writing in my online journal yesterday morning, reflecting on the evening that would see my one and only child graduate (well, be "recognized") from 8th grade. (I see the celebration mostly as one of, "Wow, you survived middle school!" I think the real work lies in the 4 to 8--or more--years ahead...)

Serendipitously, I just happened to write 13 wishes for him as he moves from middle school to high school, and I thought I would share them as my Thursday 13 this week.

So, Seth. For you, dear boy, I have a few wishes...

1. I wish you a summer of fun, relaxation and chill time.

2. I wish you the drive to achieve even more than you initially believe you can; to set your goals high and persevere to reach them. (This comes after the chill-and-relax summer!)

1. I wish you curiosity to know and learn and grow, and to never lose that desire to know more about the world (and especially about the people) around you. Curious people are interesting people.

2. I wish you the strength to stand for what you believe to be right when everyone around you is sitting down in apathy. This takes effort and a willingness to be alone at times; not easy, but definitely worthwhile.

3. I wish you the courage to speak your mind, and to admit when you're wrong and change your mind, as well. Always try to see others' opinions as valuable, even if you don't agree; you might learn something.

4. I wish you peace in knowing that you are a child of God, and that His love for you can and will sustain you, wherever you are, through good times and bad (and especially the bad).

5. I wish you comfort in the love that surrounds you from so many people. You are doubly blessed in this way, even though some days it may not feel like such a blessing.

6. I wish you grace to know when to forgive a friend for a hurt or slight, and when to move on. This can be tricky, especially with an open heart such as yours; but, you'll learn as you go, I know.

7. I wish you joy in the little things, and a lot of laughter to see you through the long nights of studying and projects and labs and trumpet practice. Your laughter is the kind that lights rooms up; don't ever let yourself go too long between good, deep, belly laughs.

8. I wish for you to retain the kindness in your heart, to remember to reach a hand out to help a stranger; and to be aware that your smile can (and many times does) improve the day of another person.

9. I wish you patience as you approach the unknowns that lie ahead. The questions will all get answered, in time. It may just not be on your schedule...

11. I wish for you the ability to adjust your attitude when you realize your current approach isn't helping your situation. You have shown an understanding that life is, in large part, a mental game, and I know if you can hang onto that understanding, it will get you through some particularly troublesome spots.

13. I wish you wisdom, to discern between truth and untruth. You have a natural desire to believe the best in people, but you've also already been disappointed by untruth. Keep honing your discernment, and hopefully your disappointments will be few.

As I reread the list it sounds a little heavy... Does it sound like he's off to war, or college, or something more substantial than just high school? Perhaps... but thanks for indulging a mom. 

As I reflect on Seth's three years in middle school, I am reminded once again of all the people who reached a hand out to him a long the way, especially one dear teacher who went above and beyond in many ways. Mrs. Clearman made learning fun, challenged Seth to do his best work, and provided the safe haven of a classroom many times when he needed it. My words of thanks will never be enough to convey my gratitude. He had other, marvelous teachers, don't misunderstand... but sometimes one does stand out above the crowd.

The 8th grade recognition last night was an exuberant and celebratory event, and not even as long as we'd been led to believe it might be. Still, so glad it's four years until the next cap-and-gown affair!

I would love to hear from you: What wish would you give to your kid (or mine) going into high school? And what do you wish you had known going into high school that no one bothered to tell you. I want to know!

For other Thursday 13 participants, go here!


  1. Those are wonderful wishes! Congrats to your son on his graduation!

  2. Oh, excellent. My son's graduating today too. Kudos to you and Seth.

  3. Even this childless old grubber is moved by your list. Too Heavy? Nah. Still, these days, you're almost better off going off to war than going off to High School; at least in a war zone you know you got your squad's got your back.

    Don't worry, though; with a parent like you, he'll be fine.

  4. No, not too heavy...going to high school is a little like going off to war.

    I guess if I could tell him anything (oh, that would be a long list) but just one little piece of late-lerned wisdom was, don't be in a rush dear Seth. All good things work together...

    Love to you all today.

  5. I've started a new blog meme that posts on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Please stop by and check it out here:

  6. This is LOVELY!! What a beautiful, beautiful post. My "mama heart" started beating super fast when I read through it.

    For all children, and expecially Seth AND Gracie, I wish for a deep comfort in their own skin. I also wish for them that they find their passion in life, or at the least the beginning of the path towards it, so that they can spend as much time as possible doing exactly what they love.

    I also wish they NEVER question their vital importance to the world and to all that love and know them.

  7. Hey, my dd is in the same year. She had her "promotion" last night.

  8. I would advise him to do his best, but to also enjoy life :-) Congrats!!!

  9. That is really a sweet post!

    Have a great day!

  10. This is beautiful. Congratulations to your son!

    The Food Temptress

  11. My daughter is going into middle school next year and your wishes mirror my own for her. No matter if it is for high school or college, war or a trip to the moon and back...putting into words what you did is anything buut is beautiful and not in a girly kind of way that should make your son go....awwww mom don't.

  12. Wonderful! It's obvious that you are a caring and involved Mom...Seth can count himself blessed!

    Hope you'll visit my TT:

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life

  13. I hope you save a hard copy of this list. It's beautiful. Happy T13!

  14. I loved your List of 15 things for Seth. O that every son had a mom who was a proactive and involved. But all the words are only as good as the example you give him... because your actions speak much louder than the words of wisdom.

    If I had any advice for the young man it would be to not let schoolwork interfere with his education. The things that will make the most difference won't always come from the classroom. Look at the guys who have had the greatest influence on the world. Take Bill Gates... he was working on "his" dream... not just doing class assignments. The classroom is just a necessary starting place... but it is what happens when you take your vision to the next level and live your dream.


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