Oh Alex, I know I promised to share the good, the bad and the ugly and I know that probably I should just have a "this too shall pass" attitude toward this moment in time, but instead I find myself wanting to protect you from this anxious, stress-ridden version of yourself.
You are my child, you are driven by a need to be perfect, to be better than everyone else, a better student, a better athlete, a better friend, a better musician, to be the best at everything from the moment you try. This autumn, there has been so much more and so much new all at once between four days a week of football, two days a week of Hebrew school, more homework in more subjects, more pressure to be seen as "cool", to play kickball well during recess, to have more play-dates, to be a part of everything. It is indeed overwhelming.
The result has been some crying (on your part and on my part), some frustration and some insomnia (last night I awoke at 230 am to you and Avery playing with Lego in your room). You are suffering from an unnecessary lack of self-confidence. And your dad and I are doing everything we can to show you success. We also want you to know that you are not alone and that other kids that you know are going through the same kind of growing pains.
Perhaps there is a reason that I do not have clear memories of third grade. Your grandma does not remember my experiencing the same kind of feeling, but this is a chance that I hid it better than you do.
I wanted to share a quote that I read when doing some research on children and the need to be perfect. I kind of love this and I hope that you will learn to always live by this credo:
"The Torah's view is that you have to be the best that you can be. It is not a competition. You are who you are, and you deal with what you have, and you become what you can become, and you don't have to compete with anyone. Sure, there are people to learn from, but there is no one to compete with." Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald
My heart aches for you to be happy at all times because I love you so much,