Dear Nate… (on your first day of Seventh Grade)

This year is already different. You are different. You’re growing up, exploring everything, and very much transforming into your own person. I’m honored and exhilarated to watch you become your own, unique person.

In a family of runners, you’re trying football instead. All your siblings hated Algebra, but you chose to take it early. When we told you an Oculus was too expensive, you paid for it yourself. You are determined to get what you believe to be the best.

I’ve always seen this independence in you, Nate, but it’s grown stronger. You trust yourself. You truly believe you can accomplish anything. Your fierceness and your faith fills me with wonder and gratitude.

One thing, though, Nate. Grace. For yourself.

You still have years ahead of you. The most interesting stories include a lot of trying, failing, trying again, and learning hard lessons. This is just how it works.

And so, give yourself the space and time to learn how equations and football plays work. Don’t declare failure too fast. You’re doing big things and all of this learning takes time and patience. Keep remembering how loved you are and how that means you can mess up a million times–and it’s okay.

Dad and I will be here—helping you, laughing at your jokes (did I mention how funny you are?), cheering you on, trying to keep up, praying for you every day, and reminding you about the grace.

As for you, Nate? You keep going. Go and become yourself. God is with you for every single moment.

I love you so much, Nay-Nay…


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