My sweet boy. A teenager, which is a hard word to get out since I am only 23 HA! I received a call from one of his teachers last week. She said she makes many calls to parents but that this one was her favorite kind to make. Chase was involved in a school project to write a letter to an author of a favorite book. Apparently, this is a competition put on by Target stores.
I recalled Chase talking about his a few weeks prior but had not given it much thought since. Chase is a great student. He does all his own work and always has. I resent parents that do their children’s projects and work for them. Moreover, trust me parents – we KNOW you do it and the teachers do to. Oh and by the way so do all the other students. I digress.
Chase’s teacher was moved to tears by his letter. She told me that she had known Chase from watching him come up the class ranks over the years but she never imagined what depth he has. She thought of him as an athlete, easy going and funny but didn’t know much else about him. Until this letter. I ride this kid hard and I know his life has changed drastically having a sibling with special needs. While I always try my best to ensure he never feels lost in her shadow, it helps to receive feedback such as this and know that my first born, my sweetest love, is a well rounded person who will grow up understanding far more and having greater compassion because of his sister.
With my son’s permission, I am going to share his letter with you exactly as Chase wrote it. It is to Mr. Shel Silverstein. Chase’s favorite book is The Giving Tree.
Dear Shel Silverstein,
I am a seventh grade boy at St Matthew School and I am a fan of reading. I have read many books of yours. I always try to read every night before I slide into bed. I usually do get a chapter in but some book chapters are so long that I just can’t. Although I am a fast reader the book of yours that I love is a short one.
The book of yours that I love is the giving tree. Ever since my mom read it to me as a child I loved the book and I would read it many times a day. I love how the tree would just give and give. I also love how the boy and the tree are friends. This book is one of the few that makes me cry and cry every time I read it. I can’t explain the feeling it gives me but ever since my sister, Larkin, was born with downs syndrome this book has made me cry. I think the reason it makes me cry is because the tree gives and gives to the boy but as the boy gets older he just takes and takes and doesn’t play with the tree but it still gives. But in the start of the book he plays with the tree so it doesn’t make me cry but when he gets older the tears just hit me. Another reason I think this book makes me cry is that as the tree gives and the as boy stops playing with him the tree is still happy and I love how the tree is happy.
I think I am going to be like the tree and never stop trying to give to my sister. Even if its helping her walk or trying to get her to talk. I am still going to try to get her to talk or walk even if she doesn’t give back by not walking or talking. I am still going to be happy because I will have hope for her and hopefully one day she will be able to do these things. But no matter what happens I will still help my sister do everything and I will still have hope.
Thank you for taking your time and reading this letter, I hope you had just as much fun reading it as I had typing it.