A letter to my 12 year-old son


To my dearest son

I am writing this letter to you because of an old cliché, the one that says you are growing up to fast.  The sad thing about this statement is that it is true.  Last week you were laughing loudly in your crib, yesterday you started school and in a couple of weeks you will be turning 13.

You will enter the gates of adolescence to spend the next five years in the darkest ages of human development…Being a teenager.  In order for you to maintain some kind of humanity, whilst searching and struggling to find yourself, I though it to be a good idea to jot a few things down, almost like building lighthouses, preventing you and I from connecting like a rocky shore and a sailing ship.  It will steer you into calm waters.

Remember that our age difference will always remain the same, and that five additional years is less than 10% to my current tally.  In your case you will be 40% older.  So the person who will be changing dramatically is you, not me.  So another five years in my life wouldn’t constitute the definition of an old man.  You know, the type of dad teenagers consider ancient and outdated, those who doesn’t understand life and everything in it.  Yes, I agree the times when I grew up might have been easier and different to yours, but the personal conflicts remain exactly the same.

You have never been bothered with peer pressure.  Your view has always remained strong and true  and your actions spoke of your heart, please don’t let friends and influences change that.  Always remain yourself, don’t ignore the man in the mirror, and even though it might not feel so at the time, there will always be  people who will like and respect you for standing up against the masses.

Remember the nights when you called me into your room under false pretences so that you can ambush me on your bed, and it turned into a tickle/wrestling/laughing match.  And remember all the Superheroes movies we watched together with you sitting on my lap.  And remember all the epic fail YouTube video’s we laughed at.  You spoilt me with your attention, I cannot fathom losing it now.  Remember when it was still cool to hang out with dad.

You always tell your stories with so much excitement that you require at least an area of three square metres to do it effectively.  You showed us the moves and tackles of the rugby games or flew around when describing your favourite scene from Ironman 3.  Don’t loose it, ever.  Tell your stories with all your heart and act them out if need be.  You are our entertainment and your lack of inhibition is refreshing and amazing and funny all at the same time.

We had no secrets.  Since you could speak you have told us everything.  We know of your heartaches, your joy, your disappointments and your ambitions, don’t stop now.  We might not have the answer, we might not have a solution, but now this, we will listen, and we will always have your back.  No.matter.what.

Time is a ruthless concept.  It doesn’t allow people to linger in moments of awesomeness.  It doesn’t allow us to stretch those moments that we wish could last forever.  But the Lord gave us children.  And looking at you, experiencing life through your eyes has made it possible to be young again, to have a fresh breeze blow over older bones.  To be able to dream and get excited about small things, is your gift to us.

Know that whatever issues we may face as a teenager/parent; I can never be more proud of you.  Know that any decision me and mom will make will be based on our love for you.  On what we think is the best for you.  And yes we will listen, and yes we now times are changing, and yes we might not understand, but remember that we love and protect you, even if you don’t like it.  Know that there will be times when you deem us unreasonable.  And when you feel lost, home is where we will be waiting for you.

You and your sister are our greatest achievements and we cannot be more proud, and there are no parents on earth who love their kids as much as we love you.

So be true to yourself, stay strong and stuff your backpack full of the things you know and cherish, take the roadmap that we have been drawing together over the last 12 years with you and you will be more than fine in that maze of adolescence.  And so will we.

Your loving parents

Mom and Dad.

24 thoughts on “A letter to my 12 year-old son

  1. Love the letter. Very heartfelt. You are so right about the smothering of attention, and hate to lose it… and they are the ones who are changing. You’ve just given snippets of what my life would be in about a decade…and I’m already dreading thinking about it. 😩

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A letter to my 16 year-old son | Ah dad…

  3. They actually change a lot when they are that age, don’t you think? Suddenly they are no longer little boys but young man (still boys, but closer to being a man…). Beautiful letter. A very important message for a fantastic young man in the making.

    Liked by 1 person

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