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.
WOW! You’ve done a great job Mom.
I had the pleasure of being his teacher when he was a toddler, last year, as I am only 30! He was such a sweet and loving “little guy”, with a smile, and even then I could see his heart just by looking in to his eyes! You deserve to be so proud of all you do for both your children, as well as all the children in the community!
The end of Chase’s letter made me cry. Anyone who thinks having a child with Down syndrome is going to have a negative impact on their other children is so so wrong. We always hear comments at Kelly’s teacher conferences about how sensitive and compassionate she is to the other kids. Our response is always “she learned that from being with her younger sister.” Thanks for sharing Chase’s letter. What a proud mommy moment.
I was thinking the same words as Lisa. He’s a great kid and Larkin is lucky to have him as a big brother. Thanks for sharing.
If only everyone in the world was half as compassionate as Chase.
You brought me to tears yet again. (But good tears.)
Thank you for sharing.
Oh Amy you give Chase a hug for me. . . I am literally in tears! I don’t know how you do it, I struggle trying to get my 8 year old daughter to understand the difference with her and her brother and I am trying to teach her to be more patient with him but it is so hard sometimes. Maybe I need her to read Chase’s letter. I often pull our the book What’s wrong with Timmy by Maria Schriver and read it to her but it is so hard for her to grasp!!! Once again thank you for that wonderful post!!! Hugs to you all and hoping that all is well in your household!!!!
Of course you probably already know this is my favorite book as well. I was just reading it to Dawson the other night and it brought me to tears. I had not sat down and read it for a long time. I will think about Chase and what he feels when he reads this book everytime I read “The Giving Tree” with Dawson in the future. What an amazing post. Thank you Chase for sharing with all of us! You are one amazing little guy!
Whoah….I’m mopping up my mascara right now! All I can say is “ya dun good Amy!” What a sweatheart! And handsome too…I saw him at the Assembly Hall Saturday. So adorable.
Chase is a wonderful big brother!! Tears here as well reading his letter! What a guy!!
oh Amy….I have no words….
That’s amazing. That is a wonderful man you are raising.
OK, so that made ME cry! How beautiful. Wonderful boy.
WOW, that’s all I can say right now with tears running down my cheeks – WOW!
I somehow stumbled onto your blog, I have been reading these older posts, and this one just touched me so much!!! You should be very proud of your son!! Wow, I know a lot of grown adults who are not as wise as he is. Larkin is a very lucky little girl to have Chase as a brother~ And you are a very lucky mom to have 2 beautiful children~