Dear Elisabeth (on your first day of eighth grade)…

The other day a memory popped up of you on your first day of Preschool. I was struck by how your first-day grin has not changed. Back then—and on the first day of eighth grade—your smile looks the same: excited, silly, anxious, and grinning like you have a secret. 

 That was twelve years ago and, as it turns out, you were onto something. You seem to learn all the secrets. You observe, learn, try, and practice, until you understand what to do.  This is your superpower and it’s served you well. For the past three years, I’ve watched you learn the Secrets of Middle School.

Here are the secrets I see you living out in your last year of Middle School…

  1. Be a Good Friend – you give everyone the benefit of the doubt. You are patient, kind, and humble. Girl drama is everywhere and you keep dodging it. This has saved you so much time, energy, and heartache. Keep it up, baby girl.
  2. Try Everything Once – feel the fear, but also stay crazy-focused on your goals. So many people will tell you you’ve got to be good at something to try it. Don’t fall for that. It’s a terrible life strategy.
  3. Work Hard – your standards for yourself are so high, but you keep exceeding them. Homework has not always been your favorite. And yet, you’ve learned to work until you’re successful. You’re a force, sweetheart. Always have been.
  4. Share God’s Love –You live out every part of your faith so well. Your discipline to read your Bible and write in your prayer journal is a reminder and inspiration to us. Best of all, you live out what you learn. Everyone who knows you sees love.

            Dearest Elisabeth, keep living out these secrets. We will all keep learning from you.

            I am always your biggest fan.

            Love you, sweet El…

            Mom

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