My Super Star

13 Jan

JoJo is Star of the Week this week. Every third grader gets to be Star for one week. It’s a pretty neat week for JoJo. He gets to share pictures, show off favorite items from his room and read his favorite books to his class. He also gets a letter from his parents.

When Charlie was in third grade, I wrote him a story instead of a letter. It made him cry and not in the good way. This time, I just stuck with a letter (mostly because writer’s block won).

Here’s his letter:

Dear Joseph Douglas Shanks,

Or maybe I should start this letter with Joey or JoJo or Joe. Your nicknames don’t stop there: Josey Posey. Pumpkin Pie. Joe-Noser. Scoop-a-loop. Spike. And the list goes on …

We have so many names for you — too many to put in this letter. But no matter what we call you – you will be always be our special guy.

And it’s not the names that make you special. It’s you. Just you.

I tried my very hardest to write a story that would capture you, but I couldn’t. None of my characters captured all that you are. I couldn’t create a character as amazing as you — even when I gave it superpowers.

The truth is, I didn’t need to create a boy with superpowers. You already have superpowers. And your superpowers are better than anything Superman or Batman or even Spiderman could ever do.

You are:

Bold and Brave – You don’t care what others think of you. For your sixth birthday, you wanted pink cupcakes because pink was your favorite color at that time. I told you some of the boys in the class might laugh at you, but you shrugged and said it didn’t matter. You liked pink. That boldness, that braveness will carry you far in life. It’s a special superpower that every superhero needs.

Joyful – Almost everything makes you happy. Heck, you even found joy in the boxes that your Christmas presents came in. You don’t need elaborate video games or fancy toys to make you happy. You find joy in the simple things — your dog Rudy, spending time with family and friends and riding your bike. You wake up each morning with a huge smile on your face, and you end almost every day with that same smile. Every superhero needs a good smile.

Athletic – No matter what we give you — a soccer ball, a football, a bicycle — you push yourself to be your best. And at times, you may get a little extra competitive on the soccer field, but you are always striving to get better. Every superhero needs to be athletic, and you definitely have that down.

Intuitive – This is a big word for a third grader, but it’s one of your best superpowers. You understand people. You can look at a person and know if they are happy or sad, if they need a hug or smile. The other day when I told you about your aunt having a bad day, you asked to call her. You knew you could cheer her up (and you did). And for just a few minutes, that smile you gave her eased her pain. Knowing when someone is sad and knowing how to help that person is a super-duper superpower.

Colorful and Funny – This might be my favorite superpower that you have. From waking up in the morning and screaming, “Here’s JoJo” to spending 15 minutes gelling your hair, you bring light and laughter to everyone around you. Whether you know it or not, you are a Facebook star. Your quips and sayings make hundreds of people smile every day. Laughter is the best medicine, and you have a lot of this superpower to give.

Kind-hearted and Selfless – You understand our purpose on earth better than anyone I know. “We are here to help each other and love each other.” You demonstrate this on a daily basis. Love drives you. Every time our car approaches a corner with a homeless person, you’re first reaction is, “Mom, what can we give them. How can we help?” When you see a friend who has been bullied or hurt by another, you rush to their aid, reassuring them that they will be okay, and you will always be their friend. So many times, especially this year, you put others before yourself. Just yesterday, I received another email from a teacher praising you for your kindness. Your heart grows bigger every day, and we are so proud to be your parents. This superpower blows all others away.

JoJo, we could go on. You have many more superpowers. You are a leader. You are creative. You are passionate. You are dramatic. You are unique and definitely one-of-a-kind.

We might just be the luckiest parents on earth. After all, how many parents can say they have a real-life SUPERHERO for a son?

Lots of love and big super hugs,

Mom and Dad

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