Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Letter to My Son

Dear Calvin,

Today is your first day of Kindergarten, and I am nervous for you.  To start, you are a sportive boy entering a world which will demand that you sit still and read and write like your sister could at that age. And then to add to those real worries, you are young--and honestly, quite diminutive.  You will be tempted to compare yourself to others--the taller and older boys who can reach things you can't or the self-controlled girls who can read things you can't.  But don't. Do not envy them; do not grow jealous of them. 
I shouldn't be nervous because I can see that you are not.  You are ready to experience it all; you want to embrace the challenge. Most of all, I think you want to be with other kids who you can charm, or outwit.  That is what makes you special--your ability to maneuver through a diverse crowd. 
Now to a very serious matter.  You are born into privilege: a white male. Though the early years of school are not specifically designed to suit you, a metamorphosis will happen. Resist the temptation to coast through that privilege.
Be a young man who will stand up for justice and equity.  Never abdicate an opportunity to support the oppressed.  Always remember that "to whom much is given, of him shall much be required."
Finally, I love you to the moon and back, and to infinity and eyeball. Be kind, compassionate, and polite. Work hard and take risks.


P.S. If you want to read the letter I sent to your sister on her first day of Kindergarten, you can go here.