Straight from the heart, our senior teacher Mrs Sabrina Lim’s letter to her son describes her experiences both as a parent and a teacher, and shares her greatest wisdom and life advice.
How proud I am of your academic accomplishments! It made me so proud to see you in your secondary school uniform, all ready to begin life as a Sec 1 student. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your mother for the past 12 years, and for many more years, because, as they say, your mother will always be your mother (or did I say it myself?).
When I held you for the first time and you were one minute old, I never imagined the adventures in store for me as your mother. I had to learn many things fast, and I couldn't even read up about these. I am not talking about the high drama, like what to do if your child has a high fever in the middle of the night (though adventures of these kinds also presented themselves in abundance!). I am talking about how I had to act calmly and be a pillar of strength for you, despite my own bewilderment, fear, even sadness: when you were picked on, when your best friend said he didn't want to be your best friend, when your school teacher complained about you, when you developed insomnia because you were frightened of going to school.
I'll be honest, I never expected my child to go to a good school. Now, I have hopes that you can go to a good university too, and I dare hope that you can win a scholarship! Mothers dream big, once they are given the chance to dream.
Sometimes, I dare to ask myself. Would I have loved you a little less, if you did not get 4A*? It was not easy to answer that question. All through 2015, and even before that, I have tried to love you unconditionally. You might have noticed how I never (directly) asked you how your other friends did in their exams (compared to you). How many other children got selected to be prefects. Whether you were the teacher's first choice to be emcee for the graduation concert. But, it was not easy to make myself not want to know (though I think I restrained myself most of the time). I consciously reminded myself that you are my son. No matter how you rank academically, socially, and co-curricularly compared to the rest of your peers - you will always be the best boy in my life.
You are now 13. I hope you will make your new school your happy home for the next 6 years, and form close, hopefully lifelong relationships from across the country and even world, and not just keep to your books. I hope you will make space in your heart for friends of all kinds and creeds, and especially so for down-in-luck friends, giving them practical help. I hope you will deepen in your understanding of your personal beliefs and put them to the test, and I hope your beliefs will stand the tests. And as your circle of friends enlarges, I hope you will continue to regard your family as top priority, and always care for your siblings.
You are going to gain lots of admirers, and also attract lots of envy. You are too incredibly pure, in my opinion. People of your ilk set themselves up to be used by people and may be "martyred" along the way. May you learn how to protect yourself faster than your foes learn how to hurt you. May you have more supporters than foes. May you learn much in the years ahead, and not just in the academic arena.
You have a fan club at home, always.
Visit us at SmartKids Asia 2016 to find out more about how The Learning Lab, through nurturing a lifelong love for learning, helps your child lay the foundation to success, both in school and in life.
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