I took this picture of you only a few short months ago and yet to me, you look so little like this. You've grown so much since then. You're no longer a boy, but a young man and that shows every time I look at you.
I wanted to be there today. I wanted to be the one to drop you off at school and make sure that everything was okay. For reasons outside of your control, I couldn't be, but please know that I so badly wanted to be.
I know that you were nervous about going to the high school. It's a bigger building and you were worried you wouldn't know where to go and that the classes would be so much harder than the ones in middle school. I don't worry though because you have always been my fighter. You may have been born early and born small, but you were born a fighter. You have never given up. You continue to grow stronger every day. You're no longer my tiny 5 pound 6 ounce baby boy. You're growing so tall and now that you're working out, you're growing so much stronger.
It's more than physical strength though. You have an inner strength that puts my own to shame. Every step of your life it has been you that has pushed yourself to new and harder things. When you mastered walking, it was you that took on climbing stairs. When you've struggled with something, it's been you who has said, "Mom, will you help me with this?" To say I'm proud of you is an understatement.
I know you worry about the classes, but I see that glimmer of excitement that comes whenever we have a new subject to tackle. You may not feel smart, but you are far smarter than you think. It's that inner strength that keeps pushing you to learn more and to improve every single marking period and in some ways, that's far better than having things come easily. You already know what it means to have to work for things and that will serve you well in life.
Ben, right now, you may feel like a little fish in a rather large pond, but remember that fish rarely swim alone. You have so many that love and support you. There's me, your dad, Megan, Coach, your brother and others who are right there with you every step of the way. Your classmates are there too and I bet they're just as nervous today as you are but you've always looked out for each other and that isn't going to change. There are the girls on the swim team who will help you if you get lost. There's Mr Holk who you knew way back in elementary school. You're not alone and you never will be.
You're growing up so fast and before I know it, it's going to be your first day of college. I hope that you take this time to truly enjoy what life has to offer. I am so proud of you. You've gone from being my tiny baby to being a young man, manager of the swim team, athlete and so much more. You have amazing things waiting for you, but they'll wait because every day is your day. Shine in it.
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