As a mom, I see so many things every day that I want to jot down to remember to tell Cameron one day. As a BOY mom, I see so many things that high school boys do that I wish I could comment on, but I can't, so I don't. But, I remember.
As I was walking into school this morning, there were two boys just a few steps ahead of me. Thinking that they might open the door for me since I was carrying my work bag, a lunch bag and a coffee, I got a little pep in my step. But, as I approached the door, the first boy walked through...then the second. Then I thought maybe they'd at least hold the door as they walked through...nope. There wasn't even an attempt to push the door further open for me. They just walked right through as if nobody was behind them. Do you know how awkward that is to try to catch a closing door...with a coffee in your other hand?!
And my hopes got crushed.
Just kidding...maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but seriously? Have they never seen a man open (or at least hold) a door for another person? I always hold the door for the person behind me.
Dear 16 Year Old Cameron,
Please open the door for the person behind you. If you don't see anyone behind you, take a quick peek before the door starts closing to be sure someone didn't sneak up on you, and hold the door for them.
Always give up your seat for a woman, child or elder...they need it more than you.
Silence is usually worth more than words. Never speak without thinking. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Be tactful. You can convey something negative in a non-hurtful way.
Write thank you notes (not texts or whatever you will be doing in 2028) to your parents, girlfriends, (girlfriend's parents), teachers and family members...just one line of gratitude goes further than you think.
Do as much good for others as you can. I know at this age, the last thing you will want to do is volunteer, but do it. (I will make you.) And enjoy it. Drop a few quarters in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. Buy an extra sandwich at Subway and give it to a homeless person. You don't need a lot of money or time to change someone else's life.
Don't worry about what everyone thinks of you. Trust me, they are just as concerned with what you think of them.
Go to football games and school dances.
Work hard. You will be getting a part-time job as soon as you are old enough to do so. This will teach you responsibility in so many ways. It's amazing to me the difference in kids who have jobs and who don't. Amazing.
Buy me flowers. It will melt my heart. ;)
Buy your girlfriend flowers. Or just write her that note...she'll cherish that for years to come, even if you aren't still together.
Don't cheat. On your girlfriend. On tests. In life. It will catch up with you.
Don't brag. Nobody wants to hear it. Dad wrote a quote that I have hanging in my classroom that says, "People do not care what you know unless they know you care." Truer words have never been spoken.
Don't lie. The truth always comes out.
Pray. Not just when you need something, but when you are thankful. We do this now with you, and it's my favorite part of the day. I hope this continues.
Eat dinner with your family. I know things will come up like jobs and practice, but please don't take us for granted. Sit down, put your phone away and enjoy a conversation with your parents. You might even laugh...it's ok!
I feel like I could go on and on and on, but I won't...yet. I'm sure there will be many more posts like this. It makes me happy and sad to listen to my students talk about their life. About how rushed it is. Or how nice dinner was with their parents. About how hard they work on an essay and end up with an A! Or how they have put off all their homework because they were playing video games all night.
I hope I can find a balance for Cameron. I hope that we teach him well. I hope he is calm. And spirited. And loving. And open-minded. I pray for all of these things every night.
Sweet Baby Cameron, I want you to be happy. And feel loved. Always.