When a dozen young boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach took a hike through Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand after practice one day, the last thing they would have guessed was that a surprise flood would leave them stranded in a cave for the next two weeks. Now, as several of the boys — rescued by Thai Navy Seals — head home, the worldwide fixation on what seemed like a looming tragedy is starting to wane. Still, it’s worth reading the notes the boys wrote their parents, which were circulated by Thai authorities.
The boys, who have every reason to be panicked in the dark, damp hole where they are currently waiting for help, seem to have remained calm in the face of existential threat (their coach has asked them to meditate). They offered their parents reassurances, and sent their love, an act of remarkable child-like generosity that was surely deeply meaningful to their parents.
“Don’t worry about me, dad and mum,” wrote Ekkarat “Bew” Wongsukchan. “I’ll be away for just two weeks. I’ll later help you, mum, sell goods when I have time. I’ll rush out of here.”
Because kids will be kids, one of the boys was adamant about his parents still setting up his birthday party despite his absence.
“I’m doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don’t worry,” wrote Duangphet “Tom” Promthep. “Although, don’t forget to set up my birthday party.”
One boy named Pipat “Nik” Photi was really just thinking about food, which is totally reasonable given that he’s a growing kid and has had little to eat in the cave.
“I love you, dad and mum. I love my siblings as well. When I come out, please take me to a pork pan [Shabu] shop. Love you all,” he wrote.
It’s safe to assume that his parents will happily comply when he is back in their arms.