SamFifthGradeDear Sam….

Yesterday, when I was worrying about some detail about your school year, a friend said to me, “I think this will be Sam’s best year yet.” Just like that, I knew what she said could be true for you, Sam.

So, what do you say we just claim this as a promise for this year? Let’s just believe that Fifth Grade was made for you. This year will be filled with funny friends, interesting assignments, freedom to be yourself, and lots of time to relax–everything you love. This is your year, buddy.

Of course, you’re old enough to know there will be also be days when Fifth Grade feels really hard. You’re trying so hard to be more organized and that can feel like a never-ending battle.  Your classmates are trying to figure out who they are. That means competition, put-downs, and harsh words. Kids seem to laugh the hardest at mean jokes.

I am praying for you through all of this, sweetheart. I can already see how you’re learning new ways to deal with your big feelings. You’re figuring out how to admit when your friends have let you down. When you’re afraid that you’re doing everything wrong, you’ve been able to talk through your frustration.  You’re stretching yourself every day. This is what growing up looks like.

Here’s the good news, Sam. The best parts of Fifth Grade are the unique ones you bring to it: a genuine heart that tells the truth and a love for the deeper, important parts of life. Most of all, you bring to this year your own special power to connect with everyone you meet. This is your gift from the Lord, Sam. I love watching  you figure out how to use it to help others.

Best year ever? You bet it will be. Because you are becoming the best Sam ever.

I love you more every year—and that’s a promise.


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