The following is dedicated to First Boy for completing junior high school

 

Once upon a time,

there was a boy,

with brown hair,

and blue eyes,

and his name was…First Boy.

 

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The beginning of every bedtime story I told you began just like that. And each time you played the part of the brave, strong, courageous boy. Every story was filled with silly adventures as you set out to win the battle, solve a problem, or find hidden treasure with the help of your faithful animal friends.

I don’t tell you bedtime stories anymore, and that’s okay—there’s a season for everything. But more importantly than any make-believe story I could ever tell you is the one you tell with your own life. It’s one of my all time favorites.

Your story began the moment you were pulled out of the safe and confined space of my womb and into this big, scary, noisy world.

I cried.

You screamed.

You and I—we were a hot mess.

You laid on my tummy screaming your head off and instinctively reached up and clenched your tiny hand around my finger. You held on tighter than tight. It was then that you looked up at me and your big eyes looked into mine. My heart swelled up with something so indescribable, so very magnificent—it was a mother’s love.

And so I cried harder, as you screamed louder. And we were an even bigger hot mess. Your tighter than tight grip was not only around my finger, but also around my heart. You locked eyes with me, and kid—you never blinked. Your stare was fierce and that’s when I knew you would have the tenacity to fight through life’s challenges with determination and courage.

 

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Son, you were born with the heart of a champion. Certainly, you’ve faced your share of challenges and even some defeats, but you’ve also experienced many victories. It’s been a long, tough, exciting, amazing journey. You’ve experienced homeschool, public school, homeschool again, private school—and lots of life in between. And look at you now. You did it son. You made it through what most believe to be the most agonizing years of their entire school career—junior high. You’ve made it through to the other side. I’m proud of you and the crazy hard work you’ve done to get to this moment right here.

 

sam grad jr hi

 

It’s still a big, scary, noisy world, and although you may think you’re too old to hold my hand as you did in those first moments of life, always remember I am here for you. I believe in you son I always will. I will believe in you when your dreams swell up within you. When your hopes inspire you. When life pushes you down. And son, I will believe in you when you’ve stopped believing in yourself.

Son, I believe in you to continue to walk your journey with the same fighting spirit you had the day you were born. Just keep moving forward.

You did it.

You are victorious.

You. Are. A. Champion.

I love you and believe in you,

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