A Love Letter to My Rising Middle Schooler

middle school
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You asked me to cuddle tonight, and it was bliss. I mean, it was way too late and you needed to be in bed ASLEEP, but the days of you wanting to be near me and huddled with me are coming fewer and farther between. So we cuddled. And I felt your small-but-growing body against me and remembered the HOURS we’ve spent curled together. And I smelled your hair (you need a shower). But I can still smell your new-baby smell in my mind and I cannot wrap my head around that you start middle school soon.

You start middle school soon, sweetie, and it’s tricky. Kids trying to figure themselves out. Who they want to be. How they want to be. What’s important to them. Wanting to fit in. Wanting to feel good about themselves.

You are smart. So smart. You have insight that blows me away and I’m astounded by what you know – both what you’ve been taught and what you’re figuring out for yourself.

You shine so brightly. Never dim your light – NOT FOR ANYONE. Some people may think you’re too loud or too brash or too much. But maybe they’re afraid. Shine your light on them. You are exactly as God intended. You are such a gift.

You have the biggest, most loving heart. Your compassion and kindness show me how to be a better person every day. Keep loving people, keep being kind, keep making the world a brighter and better place.

You are FUNNY. Oh mercy, you make me laugh. Your clever wit, your slapstick comedy, your character voices, your deadpan delivery. I wish I were as funny as you are.

You are brave. Even when you’re facing something really difficult, you just do it. You get the job done every time. I admire that so much about you, sweet girl.

You are beautiful. So beautiful you take my breath away and I wonder how I had ANYTHING to do with creating you.

Listen to your intuition. I always listen carefully when you give me your thoughts and feelings about a person – your gut reaction has been spot on. You are such a great judge of character. 

Be confident. Believe in yourself. You’re getting ready to face some challenging times and people will disappoint you. But you keep being you – you are the ONLY one of you on this whole entire planet, and that is an amazing thing. We need you to be exactly how you are – the world won’t work the same way without you exactly as you are.

Trust me when I tell you that you will survive middle school. I think you will even thrive there. You will come out stronger than you are right now. Your grit and determination will help make you resilient – and that will help you for the rest of your life. Your relationships will change – middle schoolers (especially girls, unfortunately) – are fickle. Some days everything will be great, and other days will seem like the world is against you. Just sit tight – it will change again before too long.

I am always here, loving you, admiring you, cheering you on. Love you. Love you more. Love you most. Love you more than most. And even heaps more than that.

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Wildly in love with her perfectly imperfect life, Kathy’s been married to her most favorite person in the world, “The Professor,” for 14 years. They moved to Columbia from Atlanta seven years ago and are enjoying raising their two girls, Gracie (12½) and Tate (10) here. After undergrad and her MBA, Kathy worked in Corporate America for 10 years before retiring to work full-time for the girls. Most recently, she was a grant writer at a college here in town, but had to leave that job when her family moved to New Zealand for six months for The Professor’s sabbatical. She started her blog, kathygoeskiwi.com, to document that amazing adventure, but now she’s home and trying to figure out what to do with her life. Again. Probably the loudest and most foul-mouthed introvert you’ll ever meet, she can usually be found curled up with a trashy romance novel, on the tennis court, at her awesome gym, or drinking wine with people she loves.


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