I wrote this letter to my son over five years ago and recently came across it again. I was moved to tears reading it because it is a beautiful outpouring of the unconditional love that I felt for my unborn child, and continue to feel. Since this letter, we have had two more children and the words and emotions here are still as true as they were then. This letter has been a great reminder of the things that I promised to him, and myself. I hope you enjoy this letter as much I did.
It will not be long now before you enter this world, and change my life forever. I could not be more excited for your arrival, I also could not be more terrified, but that is okay as well, we will be terrified together for the first few days. Eventually, and very quickly, you and I will acclimate to the shock and awe of this new world. You will begin to discover that the booming voice you hear is me, and you will learn that the other voice you hear, the voice that is very familiar and offers you comfort, is the same voice you heard from inside your safe world before this one; it is the voice of your amazing mother.
You will discover that you have hands and fingers, and these will be the instruments in which you explore this cool new world, and the tools with which you will hold onto me. You will also discover that you have feet, and that, for some reason, they will be delightfully tasty to you for awhile. You will also learn that there will be a lot of people surrounding you, and they might scare you at first, because you were used to hanging out by yourself for 40 weeks, but do not worry, they love you, and your awesomeness will make you irresistible to others (this will also come in handy later in life).
In my time waiting for you, I have been thinking about things that I would like you to know when you enter this world, and hopefully remember as you embark on this remarkable journey through life. I hope you find them to be useful and I will continue to help you learn to get through this world, and you, undoubtedly, will teach me a thing or two along the way as well.
The first thing I want you to know is that you do not need to grow up too fast, nor do you need to take on the world too early. That is exactly why I am here. I will carry the weight of the world on my shoulders until you become a man and then I will pass it onto you so that you may do the same for your children. Your job will be to play in the dirt, laugh at all the things little boys (and grown men) find hysterical, watch cartoons, take things apart, dig up worms and enjoy everything your little heart could possibly imagine.
Do not be afraid to try new things, even if you do not do well, you may even fail at them. That is okay. The light bulb was not invented in a day. Every brilliant man and woman on this planet that has had success also has a long road paved with failures. The important thing is that you keep trying and you will find what excites you, and then excel at that; knock it out of the park.
You will find that sometimes life is not “fair”, and that there will always be people that enjoy being mean, people that will not want you to succeed and will hate you when you do succeed. Do not let these people bother you. Continue on in your pursuits with your head held high. The best way to silence a critic is to prove them wrong.
Be kind and treat other with respect. This is important. It does not mean that you have to let people take advantage of you. It is especially important to be kind and respectful to people that you lead or manage or people that others may view as “below you” socially and economically. The way you treat the less fortunate is a true indicator of the kind of man you will be; the way you treat them even if your peers are not treating them well, is an even better indicator.
Most importantly I will always love you. My love is unconditional and unequivocal, and it always will be, no matter what happens or which life decisions you make. This love will cause me to fight to the end of the earth for you, to hold your hand when you are lost, hug you when you are scared. It is with this love that I will read bed time stories, build Lego sky scrapers, climb into tree houses, turn it into a fort, and fight imaginary foes with water balloons and sling shots. I will be there for you with words of wisdom when you fall in love the first time, and again when she breaks your heart. I will be there when you find your true love and when you start a family of your own. I will be there for your triumphs and let downs, and through it all, it will be always be made out of love. This same love will also cause me to send you to your room or ground you. Do not mistake this as me being mean, it is the greatest love in which I do this, because without discipline life becomes much harder.
Those are some of the tips I have for you, and while they are not numerous, they are by no means exhaustive. They will get you started and carry you through for awhile, but always remember, when you are feeling lost and confused with what to do, I am your father, and I will not have all the answers, but it is always easier to figure it out with someone else helping.
Please leave your comments below. Have you ever written letters to your children and then looked back at them later? Have things changed or stayed the same? Have you ever shared your letters with your children?
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