Gordon Atkinson has written a blessing for his fifteen-year-old daughter. As the father of a daughter who just turned fourteen, the entire blessing speaks to me. From my own experience, the following passage struck me:
Walk the halls of your school with your head held high. While others may worship at the altars of camouflage, conformity, and compromise, you stand above those shortcuts and soul slayers. Rise up, young woman, and do not be afraid. Rise up and be true to yourself. Let the strength of your presence transcend hair and clothing and music and boys. Let your true colors show in the halls and know that many in high school have scales on their eyes. They only see what they want to see. Many will not see you. There will be times when you walk the halls and feel invisible.
But here is a secret that I know. One boy will see you. He will see you in the middle of the noise and the energy and the hype and the crowds. He will see your strong walk and your eyes. He will listen to the answers you boldly call out in class. He will hear your voice and know your power. He will watch you until he knows you, and then his heart will fall into his stomach, for he will understand that there is only one like you.
Look for him. He is the only one that matters. Do not listen to boys who say they love you. Instead believe in the boy who wants to cherish you. If you hide now, ducking into the crowd like so many others, dressing and looking and acting and praying for safety, you might indeed be safe, but the only boy that matters will miss you. He will miss you because he is looking for a girl like no other. And you will have become just another girl in the crowd.
I’m extremely fortunate that I ran across this one person very early on and that we each recognized the other as the one. Thirty-some years later (24 of them married), I still consider myself blessed.