I think my last post – the one about getting the notification about his Senior Self letter — made many of you worry about me. I knew this Senior year would be tough, but it’s been even harder than I anticipated. You will be happy to know, I had a really good cry that day, the day I wrote the post, with my friend, Joyce. Even though I was exhausted after crying, I felt better. Sometimes it’s better just to let it all out.
A few of you have asked me what was in the letter. Hannah got the letter from Dragon’s teacher the following week, and that afternoon, we read it together. This letter from Freshman Dragon to his Senior Self is just what I hoped for – a serious letter in Dragon’s funny voice. I hear Dragon’s voice all over it. Here it is:
Freshman year was great! You weren’t doing so well in the first semester, but you learned what needed to be accomplished and in the second semester, you really pulled it together and you did really well. I hope that you’ve made Camp OCSA a thing by now… As you leave OCSA, I hope that you remember that tough 1st semester here. You got a B in Taekwondo, Lit and Comp 1H, and in Music History.
By now, I hope you know what you’re doing and have that nice black Mustang with red stripes down the middle!
You’re Freshman Self,
p.s. I hope you’re going to Stanford!… and don’t forget that you had a D in Bio at first!
Oh my gosh… this letter. My son, in this letter. Part of me gets sad, reading this letter. I forgot what a struggle that first year of high school was for Dragon. New school, new classes, new friends. The pressure to do well, the focus on grades. As I read the letter, I had all these emotions. I started questioning myself … did I support him enough that year? Did I put too much pressure on him? If so, Dragon, I’m so sorry.
But, I also hear hope and resiliency in this letter. Dragon recognized his struggles, but he was also confident that he would overcome them. In this short letter, he also recorded some of his hopes and dreams, his goals: Stanford, and that black Mustang. Such a teenager – he really wants that car! But humility too – telling himself to remember that it didn’t come easy, that he had to work for it.
Oh my son. Oh my Dragon.
And, the reference to Camp OCSA! It’s the part of the letter that touched Hannah most — how Dragon wanted to bring his Camp OCSA Music Program to life. Of the few things he names that he wants for his future, Camp OCSA is one of them. Yes, Dragon, Camp OCSA has come to life, dozens of kids, learning music. High schoolers, teaching, sharing their love of music, just like you wanted. Yes, Camp OCSA has become a thing. Yes, Camp OCSA is real.
Thank you for this letter from my son. Please, take good care of him.