Being in the7th grade you hear a lot about what you ‘aren’t’. From friends, from former friends, from adults…it’s a hard age. It is easy to lose your way or lose yourself hearing about what you ‘aren’t all the time.
I want to tell you about all that you are:
- You are my son and I adore you.
- You are authentic.
- You are geniuine.
- Not you aren’t tall, but at 4’11” you are compact and all muscle. You have an athlete’s physique. You are sinewy and muscular. You are fit.
- You are funny. Yes, sometimes that translates to goofy but most of the time it’s just fun. You have a gift and that gift is making people laugh. Like with all gifts you might need to learn to control it—but it is a gift and I hope you always think of it that way.
- You are sensitive. As a 13 year old boy I know that doesn’t feel like a compliment but it is. Really.
- You are strong. Physically. Mentally.
- You are a fighter…in a good way…I’ve seen you fight for an inch in the pool. I’ve seen you fight nerves, I’ve watched you overcome fear. This is strength and it will carry you far, far in life. Some of my proudest moments have been to watch you fight for victory’s….both large and small.
- You have the ability to be kind.
- You have good manners. That matters. It does. Your friends may not ‘get that’ but I promise you that your teachers do. The adults in your life do.
- You have a strong faith. I see you growing and building that faith. I am proud of you for that.
- You are an honest and true athlete.
A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts
- In 7th grade your peers only think of sports as: basketball, football and maybe baseball. What you do, what you CAN do, what you endure is a sport. You are committed to your sport. You work so very, very hard and your sport. You are good at your sport. You are talented and have an endurance that most adults would envy. I can’t say it doesn’t matter what others think because I know in middle school that it does…all I can do is to tell you that you have put forth the effort and the energy to become a skilled athlete. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. They might not understand it but if they see you, even once, they will respect you. And if they don’t…well, they don’t know what they are seeing.
- “Sports doen’t create character, they reveal it” I love this quote and it is so true. Your character shines when you wait in the pool for the last swimmer to finish. I’ve seen you encourage younger swimmers, I’ve watched you pump up your teammates, I’ve watched you cheer and I’ve seen you congratulate the winners. You have a good, strong character and swimming shows that to the world.
- We all have hero’s for different reasons. You’ve been my hero in many instances. You were my hero when I thought I couldn’t finish the Warrior Dash. I finished because I thought of your fighting spirit and your determination and knew that I wanted to make you as proud of me as I was of you. You are Sadie’s hero and she is learing the world through your eyes. You are tender and loving to her and she has total faith and trust in you. Seeing you with her makes me very, very proud. You are Kinsley’s hero rather you know it or not. She wants you to think she is cool and awesome. She’s your biggest fan though she doesn’t always show it so well.
- You can dance like no-body’s business.
- You love girls. I know that. You’ve loved girls since you were born. Be their friends, be their confidants but be careful about falling in love too easily. Love is something that both people have to be ready for and in 7th grade I don’t know that the girls are ready for you. Like them, enjoy them, learn from them but take your time before really, truly giving your heart to anyone or asking them to give theirs to you.
It’s hard to understand now when the only thing you want to do is it fit in and to be like everyone else. You are not like everyone else. You are you. You, Colton Henry Evans, were named after some great men. Your Grandpa and my Grandpa were good, strong men. Like them I believe you have a gentle-man’s soul. You fight for what’s right and you don’t settle for what is wrong. You work hard, you speak honestly and you champion the weak. That alone makes you different. You are kind. My grandpa had a crippling disease that left him with a limp and made him walk with a cane. It didn’t stop him. You see your height as a handicap…he didn’t let his stop him and I don’t believe you will let your stop you. You have a leader in you. Your grandpa is a leader who makes things happen. He isn’t afraid to to the right thing no matter what. Like I always tell you, a good man does the right thing even when no one is watching. I’ve seen you do the right thing even when you didn’t know I could see you.
It’s okay to want to fit in, it’s part of life, but don’t change who you are to make lesser people like you. Good, genuine friends will see the good and talk to you about the bad. Real friends won’t make fun of your talents or belittle skills they don’t understand. Being strong and good and true will be lonely sometimes, I know.
I love you.
I am proud of all that you ARE.