First and foremost, I’m here and always will be. I have been your #1 cheerleader from day one and vow to continue to be your strongest supporter to infinity and beyond. I guarantee I won’t always agree with your choices, but I will always have your back.
Technology can be a life saver… or ruin it. Remember that once something hits the internet it’s there forever. If you wouldn’t want Mom or Grandma to see it then don’t post it or send it (this includes body parts… just sayin’). Seriously. What may seem harmless or fun in the moment can follow you around for the rest of your life.
You are a brother and someone’s super hero. Jax is looking up to you and watching your every move. If you jump in the ocean he’s following right behind you. If you wear red every day he’ll want to too. This also applies to the bad stuff. If you wouldn’t want to see your little brother do it, then you shouldn’t do it. You are his Superman… take that role seriously or Mom will be your krypotonite.
Girls…. Mom’s biggest fear. Please don’t rush this step in life. There’s nothing wrong with standing back and admiring the view, but take your time and proceed with caution. Not only for your sake, but for hers as well. Treat every girl you meet with the respect you would give your mother.
While we’re on the subject.. I know you don’t like to talk about it but at some point in your teens sex might be an issue. I wish I could just say “Don’t do it till your 30”… but I know it’s not that simple. What I will say is THINK before you act. THINK THINK THINK! And be safe. It only takes one time to change your life forever.
Bullying of any kind is never ok. You have to know your dad and I will make home an insanely boring and strict place if we ever hear of you bullying anyone. It’s unacceptable for you to participate in bullying but you also need to stand up for others if you see it happening. Stand up… you have a voice and need to use it for good.
Be happy.. Always. You’re way too young to stress about the issues of the world. Sit back and enjoy yourself. Hang out with your friends. Try new things….YOLO. Be silly. Laugh as much as possible. Impromptu dance parties. Eat a lot of ice cream (don’t forget the whipped cream). Have an adventure. Be happy!
Drugs are bad… don’t do them. Pretty sure we’ve had this conversation a billion times by now, but kid I’m serious! I won’t hesitate to call the cops on you myself. Just say No! (looks like all those D.A.R.E. assemblies I went to in school kinda stuck with me)
Don’t miss an opportunity. No one says you can’t be happy and focused. You’ve talked about college since you were 7. You are incredibly bright and have so much potential… but it’s up to YOU to apply it. Always keep your goals in mind, remember that your actions now (good & bad) can impact your future, and work hard. If you want it bad enough then make it happen.
Surround yourself with good people. Your friends are a reflection of you. Even if you aren’t a part of some of the negative things they do, others will unfortunately judge you by their choices. Sometimes good people make bad choices. I’m not telling you not to be friends with people, I’m just telling you to be careful, make smart choices, and maybe limit your association with the negative.
With that in mind, be a good friend. Treat others the way you want to be treated and be loyal. Be the guy someone can trust.
Appreciate what makes you different. You are truly unique and unlike everyone else. I know it’s easy to always compare yourself to others, but please try not to. What makes you different also makes you amazing. No one else in this universe can be you… so please be YOU!
One day you’ll look back and laugh at your teen self.. that’s a GOOD thing. You’re going to experience some crazy embarrassing moments. You might have weak-in-the-knees moments over a crush. When you look back in 10 years at all the pictures you’re bound to take, you (and me) will probably crack up for hours. There will be acne, interesting outfits, and definitely hair that’s regrettable. You’re making memories every day kid.
You’re growing every day and will become a man soon… but try not to rush it and keep your innocence as long as possible. We already have a Man-of-the-House (and he’s a good one), so take your time and just be a GOOD kid.
At every age in your life please remember how important your family is. I mentioned that mom’s been your biggest cheerleader, but you have to know that Dad, Jax, and I are also your defense and wide receivers. We are a team and every one of us plays an important role. You are our quarterback and we need you… just as much as you need us. Go team!
And last but certainly not least… I love you… Forever, For Always, and No Matter What.