Dear Joey,
You don’t know mommy hid things from you in the house. I once bought 12 used sets of Lego Technic from someone and hid them in the closet. I let you play one set at a time. They are complicated, challenging and take time. You loved them! But you never get to finish all 12 sets because you were so tired. There are still more in the closet, Joey. I want to send them to you to play. I really want to. I ask God if I could.

Today I took out another thing I hid from you. No one else in the house knows there is such a book, even your dad. I hid it so well, because you are supposed to read it only when you graduate from high school. Why you don’t even graduate 5th grade?

I opened the book and could hardly read it. I may wet each page. It’s Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! You are supposed to read this book with all the notes from your teachers, all the way from Kindergarten to 12th grades. You are supposed to feel proud and confident starting a new journey in college with this book. You are supposed to read each page then say, “I love you, mom.”

But you don’t even know there is such a book. It’s my fault. Why did I forget about this book? Why didn’t I read it to you when you could still hear me? Why didn’t I tell Dad there is such a book? He then will remember to read it to you when you are in bed.

So dear Joey, let mommy read it to you now.

Your third-grade teacher says, “Congratulations to you! You are the best of the best and I know that as you travel through the next chapter of your life you will continue to be. When you were in my class, we nicknamed you Jumpy Joey because you had so much energy and embarked on every challenge with enthusiasm. Everyone loved your positive energy. You always excelled in all subjects. You will always have a special place in my heart.”

Your fourth grade teacher says, “You have touched so many of your classmates’ hearts this year, including mine. You have excelled in so many ways this year. From winning math trophies to earning Top Tiger awards, you have achieved many wonderful things. You were one of the first students in our class to win in the Gaga Pit and were such an athlete on the soccer field as well!”

Joey, do you hear that? All your teachers love you. They each wrote the whole page. Please, please forgive mommy. I must be scared, crazy and forgot about this book in the last days of you being with me. When I realized, it was too late. I had thought about burning this book with you, but I decided to keep it. Because I missed the days when your teachers wrote down those words. I want to keep the book as if I could keep those wonderful days. Wonderful days with you.

I will read these notes to you, Joey, everyday. Can you stop by and hear them? Just 5 minutes? 1 minute?

Oh, the Places You’ll Go. You are in a place that you are not supposed to be at 5th grade. You are there too soon. Wait for mommy, Joey.

Dear Joey, how I miss you. When I miss you, I will read this book, as if I’m reading it in front of you.