To my six-year-old son and my two-year-old daughter,
Thanks for spending Father’s Day with me. Okay, so you didn’t really have a choice. And at this age, you still want to, but in the spirit of Dad’s Day I thought I’d write you a quick letter with some dad tips to look back on.
All I ask is to do your best in all things. Some days your best may be getting showered and eating decent food. Other days, may your best even surprise you.
The world is an amazing place, and there is lots to fear. But there is also lots to love. The choice is yours, and may you choose to love more than fear.
There is a bumper sticker I saw once, saying if you want to get rich, count your blessings. Money is a wonderful thing, but it’s not everything. They say counting your blessings only brings more prosperity. May you always have enough money for your needs, with a little extra for wants. In the mean time, no. You can’t have that junk toy or a candy bar every trip to the grocery store. You’ll thank me later.
Take care of your body. You are so soft and flexible now, but give yourself 30 years. There will be times that you’ll probably hate it, but take care of it best you can. May you live a long life, and if you do, you’ll need that body to lift, bend, carry, walk and get around to wherever your two feet may want to take you.
Be kind. It’s okay to be angry. Your mom and I say this regularly. But it’s how you use that anger that can help you rise or fall. There are times where you may see red with anger, but do your best to keep it at bay. A moment of anger could cost you years of regret.
Focus on yourself. Eventually. You both compare plates, toys and hugs right now. “She got more that me.” Maybe it’s human nature to size up your peers, but the more you focus on others, the more susceptible you are to jealousy, envy and low self-esteem. Take 30 years here, and I hope you start getting it.
There really are no wrong decisions. Aside from harming others, do what that small voice inside of you says. There are times where I will push you to do something you may not want to do. Whether that’s baseball, violin lessons or cleaning your room, please share your thoughts. You will still have to clean your room, but debating is healthy and you don’t have to do what I’m interested in. But you do have to do something.
Growth comes in many ways for your right now. Potty in the toilet for one. Controlling your emotional reaction for another. But never stop growing physically, mentally or spiritually.
You both have encouraged me to grow in so many ways, and you still encourage me to be a better man every day.
I enjoy exposing you to the church right now, but you don’t have to follow my religion or any religion at all. But remember, in the words of Bob Dylan, you will have to serve somebody. My advice would be to make that a Higher Power.
You are my hope for the future. Be bold. And may you find the good in people wherever you go.