You were born small. Tiny really…just 800 grams. Unlike most people, when you were born you weren’t wrapped in a blanket and cuddled and nurtured until you got bigger and stronger. Instead, you had to fight with the strength of a giant. And with what strength you fought; your survival and recovery from the devastating complications of your premature birth was nothing short of miraculous. Over and over in your life, medical professionals have marveled at your sheer strength. You were tiny, but you were already a giant.
I’m not exactly sure if it’s just who you always were meant to be, or if there is a relationship to how close to death you were, but Owen, you are one of the people in the world who have a special magic about them. I think deep down, regardless of your conscious comprehension, subconsciously…deep down in your bones, you seem to understand that life is a gift. You exemplify joy. Your smile makes other people want to smile. Your accomplishments makes the world cheer. You are small…smaller than average, and still only two and a half years old, but you are already a giant.
I don’t tell you that you are giant to give you a big head. I tell you because I need you to know that not everyone will like that you’re a giant. Maybe they too were once giants and someone cut them down, until instead of being a giant they are now a bully. These bullies, Owen, they will miss your joy and all that you have accomplished and they will focus on your differences. It breaks my mom heart to think of it, but these bullies will try to hurt you with words and maybe even bruises. They will try to shrink you down until you are no longer a giant.
Here’s the the secret about being a giant, Owen. Nobody can shrink you. The only way that you stop being a giant is if you give your giant away. I once gave my giant away. I felt very small, and even when there were no more bullies around to make me still feel small, I still bullied myself. You see, when you give your giant away, it means you believe you’re as small as the bullies tried to make you feel.
Do you want to know how I got my giant back? You. You helped me get it back. You showed me how to be a giant again. Yes, you were tiny and so fragile I couldn’t even hold you, but you showed me how to be a giant. That’s the other secret about being a giant, Owen. When you’re a giant, you help other people be their own giant.
As a giant, you build people up, instead of trying to cut them down.
As a giant, you stick up for those that can’t stick up for themselves.
As a giant, you let bullies know that what they are doing is not okay.
Being a giant, isn’t for the faint of heart, Owen. In truth, it can be scary at times and feel very lonely. Sometimes, the words that are used to try to cut you down will hurt. I’m not asking you to think it shouldn’t hurt. There will be wounds. I will be there helping you heal those wounds. I will do my part to remind you that you’re a giant. You will always be my son and I will always do what I can to protect you. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you. You have to choose to be a giant. The good news is, you have everything you need, because no matter how small you once were, you were born a giant.
This post originally appeared here on www.raiseagiant.com. As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, Green Giant in partnership with the Pacer Center, a Minneapolis-based non-profit that supports families of children with special needs, is asking you how you plan to raise a giant. Won’t you join me in writing a letter to your child? Simply click here and write and share to help raise awareness of this important cause. If you have children, please see the student-to-student curriculum developed by PACER’s National Bully Prevention Center at www.pacer.org/bullying/