It seemed not too long ago when you started kindergarten. You were a sweet and sensitive little boy and you would infect us with your laughter. You were so little then and very curious to know about the world we live in.
You learned in school but I also enjoyed teaching you and your brothers and bringing you to places where you’ve never been before. I never thought that you would also teach me things and bring me to places I’ve never been before.
You were the one who taught me about baseball and basketball. I was never really interested in sports but I learned a lot on our talks in front of the T.V. in the kitchen. You ask me a lot of things that you hear on the news and in the shows that we watch. In turn you also tell me anything I want to know about sports. I treasure those precious moments.
Look at you now. You stand almost as tall as I am. Just an inch shorter, right? And you already got pimples on your forehead. You are now becoming a young man.
This year as we prepared for your Confirmation, I noticed that you have grown up to be a polite, respectful and kind-hearted person. And I am proud of you for that. I hope that you will continue to be a responsible member not only of our family but also of our community. I think you are already on that track.
When we volunteered at the soup kitchen, I saw in you not only eagerness to help but also compassion for those needy people who didn’t have enough to eat. As you grow up and see more people who are in need, I hope that you would always be willing to help. I also hope that you would be willing to teach other people how to be compassionate and how to help our less fortunate brothers. I know in my heart that you will be able to do these things.
As you graduated from sixth grade today, I saw not only excitement but also apprehension in your eyes. You have learned a lot but still have many questions that you want to be answered. You’ve made a lot of friends but I know that you are a bit saddened that you won’t see some of them as they will move to different schools. Don’t worry. Memories of your friendships will stay with you forever and you will make new friends and new memories in your new school.
As much as you are excited to be going to junior high, I know that you must be feeling a little scared. That’s normal. But CHANGE is a good thing. That’s how we move on with life. You will meet new people, new students like you, new teachers. You may even meet some of Reggie’s old teachers and they may recognize you from your last name. They might tell you stories about Reggie but don’t feel intimidated when they try to compare him to you.
Like when we met his music teacher last week when you tried out for instruments. He asked you if you wanted to be in the jazz band just like Reg did. You don’t have to if that’s not what you want. You can do whatever your heart desires. They also have a good sports program there. You can join the basketball team if that’s what you’re interested in. And if you get interested in girls, that’s fine, too.
I’m glad that you picked the trombone because you felt more comfortable with it than the flute. And I’m glad that you picked the trombone over the tuba because you understand that you have more options with the trombone like going in the jazz band if you wish to. And that’s the only reason we asked you if you want to be in the jazz band. We want you to broaden your horizon. We want you to try different things. But don’t be pressured to go in the jazz band just because that’s what Reggie indulged in. And most of all, don’t be pressured by what other kids are doing. Don’t be afraid to say NO. Don’t be intimidated by the kids who are bigger than you. And know that you can always talk to me, just like you always do. And I’m always willing to listen if there’s anything that’s bothering you.