May 15, 2018


Yesterday was a big day in Casa Munoz.  We are officially parents of a teenager.  Anthony is 13 and I still can't quite wrap my head around that.  I'm not sure how it happened, but it did and I'm ready to embrace this new adventure.  I'm willing to bet it's going to be a wild one!  He is my kid after all!  Lord grant me the strength!
Dear Anthony,

There have been so many times since you were born where life seemed to slow down.  Or maybe it was just because I was holding my breath.  Like when you learned to walk.  Or the first time you said, Mama.  Then there was the first day of Kinder when you just walked straight in and never looked back.  Your last day of elementary and the first time you took the bus to middle school. All this has led us to today.  The day you turned thirteen.  I held my breath just writing it out.

You are about to enter into an amazing chapter in your life.  And I am so very excited for you.  I am also a little afraid to let go.  But I will try if you promise not to go too far.  Not just yet anyway.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have caught little glimpses of the young man you are becoming.  I'd like to think that we have prepared you for this, but just in case we didn't drill these things in enough already, here are a few things I want you to remember.

Trust yourself
We have spent the last 13 years teaching your right from wrong.  You know what things you are allowed to do and you know the things you are not.  If something you are doing feels wrong, it probably is.  Trust your gut.  Think things through and make good choices.

Watch your 6
Remember that your little brother is always watching.  Be the best role model you can for him and the other younger kids in your life.  Encourage him to make the right choices where you made the wrong ones.  Spend more time with him.  He might not always show it, but he will cherish every minute of it.

Say sorry
Or better yet, know when to say sorry.  You are going to have opinions and beliefs that might offend others.  You might have to make choices that while they are great for you, might hurt someone else. You can be firm in your beliefs and still be sorry for hurting someone.  When you need to apologize, do it right.  Don't make excuses or come up with stories about why you did or said what you said.  Be honest and sincere.  Say you are sorry and do what you need to do to make it right. An apology goes a long way.

Disconnect to reconnect
I know the games are fun and texting your friends is important to you.  But sometimes you just have to unplug.  Take a few minutes every day to talk to someone face to face.  About anything.  Connect offline.  It will make those relationships that matter, matter even more.

Find real friends
You are who you hang out with. Be friends with people who inspire you to be better.  Spend time with people who make you laugh.  Listen to the people who encourage you.  Be someone who is all those things to others.  And don't waste time on people who won't give you a minute of theirs.  Keep your circle small and strong.

Feel it all
The truth is, boys can be emotional too!  Crying means you are strong enough to allow yourself to feel so much.  Share your happiness because the world can always use more of that.  Don't apologize for being sad or angry but for anything hurtful you may have said and done while you were feeling that way.  Everyone has a fear of something and they are lying if they say otherwise.  Love who you love! And always be kind.

Be a gentleman
Look at people when they are speaking to you.  Shake hands.  Stand up and offer your seat to others.  Hold the door.  Always say please and thank you.  Tell someone they look nice.  You're welcome is a reply, not a sarcastic remark.  Help people without expecting anything in return.  Don't bully or talk down to people. Smile!

Keep your word
Don't make promises you don't intend to keep.  When someone tells you a secret, keep it!  Unless it is something that will hurt them or someone else.  Don't stand people up.  If you say you are going to be there, be there.  Following through on these things not only makes you a better person, but it shows people that you are trustworthy.  Trust is a hard thing to find again after you lose it.

Just say no
The older you get the more chances you will have to use this word.  Its ok to say no. Don't ever do anything you don't want to.  If your friends can't accept your answer, then they are not really your friends after all.  And just as you are allowed to say no, so can anyone else.  Never force anyone to do something they have already said no to.  No always means no!

Show respect
Always be respectful to everyone.  Not just your parents.  But your grandparents and other family members too.  If you are at a friends house, respect their parents and their families rules.  Adress adults appropriately.  Respect your teachers.  Respect others.  Respect the law.  And always respect yourself.

Clean is cool
Time to check that hygiene.  Showers are a must.  Brushing your teeth too.  And while I'm at it, another one at the top of this list is lifting the seat when you pee.  Just do it!  Take pride in your self.  Dress nicely but comfortably.  Keep your room clean.  And your nails.  Wash behind your ears.  No, wash everything!  More chapstick and less bodyspray.

Always play
I know you are supposed to be all mature and grown now that you are a teenager, but please never forget to have a little fun.  The next few years are going to fly right past you and how sad would it be if you forgot to just be a kid and play.  You might be too big for things like the playground, but find things you do enjoy doing and do them often.  You might be a teen but you aren't quite an adult yet.  Enjoy it now and thank me later!

Keep it private
Don't roll your eyes when I say that they are called privates for a reason.  Becuase they should be kept private.  Do not take or send photos of your body.  To anyone!  Once it is sent, you can't take it back.  So just don't!  Also, never share someone else photos.  It is humiliating and cruel.  Not to mention illegal.

There is so much more I want to tell you.  So much more I need to prepare you for.  But we will cross those bridges when we get there, for now, let's just enjoy this new adventure.  I can't wait to see what it brings with it.  I know you are itching for a little space and independence but I hope you will still snuggle up on the couch with me.  I hope you still come back for second and third hugs before you go to bed. I hope you save secrets for me. I hope you always know just how much I love you!

I'm so incredibly proud of the young man you have become.  I don't know how I got so lucky with such a smart, strong and kind son.  If you have learned anything from me this far, I hope it is that I will always protect and fight for you.  I will always support and encourage you.  My ears and my arms are always open.  I love you Son.  Happy 13th Birthday!

Love Mom

1 comment :

  1. I am 21 and feel some insight from your words. Feel very thankful and hope you can continue your blog. Feels great to you haha :D