Dear Nate… (on your first day of 5th grade)

Dear Nate-

Here’s the funny thing I see happening in our family right now, Nate. Long ago you were assigned to be The Smart One, The Sweetheart, and The One with No-Drama. As the fourth child in a big family, you didn’t get much of a say in who we decided you would be.

Except those assigned roles don’t actually fit you at all. It might have taken the recent six-month time-out (thank you, COVID, for all this family time), but we are all finally seeing you for who you are, rather than who we had decided you should be.

I mean, who would have guessed that you, Nate—the budding engineer in the family—would turn out to love the musical, Hamilton so fiercely? We didn’t expect that you would become the fanatic Harry Potter enthusiast. Even when we’ve all begged you to not listen to the books a sixth (seventh? eighth?) time, your curiosity to understand the Hogwart’s world completely has not waned.

This curiosity of yours is a wonderful gift, dear Nate. It’s the force that sends you outside on Trash Day to see if the neighbors are throwing away anything you could take apart. It’s the reason I find you in the garage, nailing together bits of scrap lumber. It’s the part of you that shows up to school every day, so ridiculously curious about the sounds you can make from your clarinet and what strategies you can use to convince your classmates to memorize the lyrics to “The World Was Wide Enough.” Your curiosity to learn, learn, learn is a stubborn force.

Ah, Fifth Grade will have its challenges. Sometimes the homework will be boring—and you’ll be tempted to skip decimal word problems to do what’s more interesting. I get that and am a fellow sympathizer in the struggle of pushing through the boring stuff to get to the things that light a fire inside you. But you are a patient kid and you can do it.

Most importantly, don’t lose that fire. God has given you the unique gift of exploring. Keep fiddling, reading, researching, and singing to your heart’s content. I love seeing who you are becoming.



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2 Responses
  1. Alice Rosenhagen

    Love hearing all these characteristics that have come out in Nate. How fun to watch him grow up!! Looking forward to it – we will probably get to see him a lot!

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