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A Letter to My Son on his 13th Birthday

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Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

My Dearest,

My, how you’ve grown this year.

It’s official: you’re taller than me. By a good few centimetres, not a little bit. Your voice has deepened, there’s a hint of a moustache, and you got your braces last week. You are still full of elbows. But you are well on your way into adulthood.

This year, you’ve taught yourself to play the guitar. You never cease to amaze me. I knew you were musical, but picking up an instrument and just figuring out how to play it (with the help of YouTube, but still) is a whole other level.

What can I say, you’re a classic case of a firstborn child. Responsible and hardworking, you set high standards for yourself. I wish you could see yourself from my point of view. I know you disappoint yourself, but I hope you know you can never disappoint me. I’m never not proud of you.

When you were young, you used to tell me everything. I said there was never an unexpressed thought when you were three. You always asked me tough questions. And I don’t walk you to school anymore, which means our conversations are almost exclusively limited to when there’s a concert at school or when I take you to doctor’s appointments. I get so little information from you now. I know it’s the natural state of teenagers, but I can’t help but worry.

I don’t know whether you know what it means to be your mum. So I thought I would tell you. It means you can tell me anything. It means I will love you no matter how much you think you’re in trouble. It means you can always trust that I have your best interests at heart. It also means I always have to know where you are and who you’re spending time with. I hope you understand that. I hope you can manage my annoying questions for a little while longer.

For this year, I wish for you to be able, sometimes, to get a glimpse of how I see you. And maybe, just maybe, see yourself for the wonderful young man that you are.

Love always,



For the sentimental: A list (with links) of all the letters to date.


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