Slow down son. The world will wait while you enjoy your last few years of childhood.
The world will wait.
Play with your brothers. Enjoy the summer sun at the beach, sit by the pool. Build a fort. Explore the woods.
Make one last Lego castle.
You are so close to adulthood and all the excitement you feel it brings, but slow down son. You can never go back.
The rest of your entire life you will have no choice but to be an adult. Full of adult responsibilities and changes that you will have no say in. Today you still get to be a kid. Choose to embrace it. Slow down.
Eat a popsicle. Sit by the fire. Play a game. Do nothing. And enjoy it. Don't rush yourself out of your last carefree moments as a child. Slow down.
Just for another year, or two. Then it's over. You never get to come back to these days. You will wish with all your might that you could, but you can't. Don't waste them away, trying to make adult decisions and complaining about how things aren't fair. Soak in these moments like they were your last. Because they are.
Explore your talents, learn something new, paint, draw, play, listen to music, relax. Find out who you are, what you love before you lose the time to. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to yourself to slow down for just awhile longer.
God is not done with you yet. And neither am I. He gave you to me to grow and shape and teach and train for just a few more years and we're not done yet. Slow down, grow your faith, and give Him time to turn you into the man he has planned. You are going to do amazing things with your future, but there's still work to be done, don't rush it. Slow down and wait to be finished.
All the things you are waiting to do, all the things you are anxious to have the freedom for, will come. But it all comes with a price. For now, just slow down.
Too soon you will trade your late night of being bored for setting an alarm for work. You will trade building block houses and playing with cars to having to work to pay a mortgage and get your oil changed. You will trade having your brothers asking to play with you to them asking for a ride or ten dollars or being too busy with their own lives to take a call from you. You will trade being able to raid the fridge at midnight to spending your last four dollars on a package of bologna and a loaf of bread. You will miss having dinner made for you, and going to the beach, and being with family. You will miss Nerf gun wars and board games. You will miss campfires and lazy days at home. One day you will miss your dad and I too. And you will wish you just slowed down.
Soon these days will be gone. And as much as you wish right now that they would be, what's around the corner is no better. But by the time you see that, it will be too late. Take a break from trying to be an adult, kid. Slow down and embrace your youth.
Appreciate the opportunity to screw up, suffer the consequences at home, while still being loved. The world will not be so forgiving. And neither is adulthood. You can't ever return to these last few days.
Soak up high school. Try different things, make friends, make mistakes, make changes, make a point to pray, to grow your relationship with God, with your brothers, your grandparents, and your dad and I.
But most of all, son, make a choice to slow down. Your life is speeding by. Take today, this week, this summer, this year, and just be a kid. You are a pretty amazing one.
And you don't have much time left.
“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*
I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves – thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.
* Gloria Steinem