As my son heads back to school,
Let him feel safe.
Have him be safe.
Watch over him and send him back to me every day.
May he learn this year.
Learn in the classroom, learn about life, learn about friendship, about kindness, about others, about himself.
Open his eyes to the world around him.
Have him see those who need a friend and be a friend to them.
Let others see him when he’s the one who needs a friend.
Give him the confidence he needs to succeed in the classroom.
The confidence he needs to go about his day.
Not too much confidence that it’s arrogance.
Let him have enough successes to feel good about himself.
But it’s okay to let him struggle a little since there are lessons to be learned in struggle: hard work, humility, and compassion for others who struggle.
Surround him with people who care, people who will watch out for him.
Teachers who really see him, who challenge him, who remember what it’s like to be a child so they don’t judge too harshly when he inevitably has a bad day.
Teachers whom he feels comfortable going to if he needs help or support.
Let him have friends.
He doesn’t need to be surrounded by a crowd, but give him just a few true, close friends.
Please let him find somewhere he fits in because everyone can use that safe place to land.
But don’t let him think he has to change to fit in.
Remind him that school is important but don’t ever let him feel like it’s the only thing in life that matters.
Please have him remember all the manners and good common sense he does possess and have him use those.
Give him the peace in knowing that no matter what happens at school, he has parents and family at home who love him.
That no mistake or bad day is ever too big to overcome.
Allow him to come to me, to share about his day, his struggles, his successes.
Remind him that I’m always there for him, even as he grows older and starts to feel like he shouldn’t need his mom any more.
And help me know when to let go, when to step in, and how best to be there for my son.