Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Letter to Will's 3rd Grade Teacher and Jack's Kindergarten Teacher

Dear Mrs. L,

I want to introduce you to my son Will.  He's an in-betweener.  You might be thinking that as an adult who is fairly literate, I probably shouldn't waste time making up words, but let's just call it "creative writing." 

Will is 8 years old and stuck in between.  He's not yet a young man, but he's no longer a child.  He is thinking about things at a higher, deeper level than before.  I see him caring more about physical appearance, clothing, meeting people's expectations.  He's maturing in ways that I did not yet expect.  Then, in a flash, my little boy is back.  The one who cuddles with him mom when he's sleepy, and still wants light up shoes.  He's in between right now, and he'll be here for awhile.

You will be navigating him through the between for this school year, and all I ask is that you embrace the between, too.  Keep my boy still a boy in all the ways that really matter.  I want him to still believe in magic with wide-eyed wonder and believe in his heart that he can really be President of the United States some day.  But, guide my young man.  Show him that the way magic really happens is by being a good and worthy person.  Show him that the President only gets that far with hard work.  Make this portion of his between a learning period, but let him dream the dreams of a young boy at the same time.

I did his beginning, and I pray that his end is so far from now, I can't even guess who will have his end.  But, I'm trusting you with his between, and its the most important part.


Dear Mrs. V.,

Today you met Jack.  He smiled and seemed ready to return tomorrow.  He even hugged you upon our departure, responding to your request.  Let me tell you, I was shocked.  The Jack you met today was the very best case scenario Jack.  But be aware, that Jack might not come back tomorrow.

My Jack is a mystery.  Despite his excitement today and his little dancing jig, my Jack is an introvert.  In fact, we should probably change his middle name to Introvert so people can fully comprehend the depth of his shyness.  He may surprise me again tomorrow, and the next day, and be open to the school experience.  But, he may also shut down.  He may be nervous and fight off tears, not wanting to show his vulnerability.  He may be quiet.  He may ignore others and be solitary.  He may...

I knew exactly what to expect of Will at this age, but Jack is a mystery.  He is complex, bright, quick witted, literal, moody, creative, adverse to change, goofy, and shy.  He's tumultuous and passionate.  He's a series of opposites, a mystery to me and I've known him for almost 6 years.

All I ask, Mrs. V., is that you turn the pages of the mystery.  If Jack enters tomorrow nervous and shy, please take the time to turn the page to see what else is in there.  If Jack amazes you with his quick wit, please be prepared for the awkwardness that may follow.  He's layered and surprising.  He's up and he's down, and inside out.  But, please spend the time to see all of his sides and please, let's make this chapter excellent.