To my sweet baby boy,
I know what this is going to sound like. I know that you are not even a prospect in this life or maybe not even around at all. I know that you will be strong and brave and kind. I know all of this because it is what I plan on teaching you when you arrive. Being a little boy is not all it is cracked up to be, it is not all about dirt on your knees and learning to skate. You are allowed to be sensitive and wear your heart on your sleeve, so many potential partners will appreciate this one day. Now, I don’t know what it is like to grow up a boy but I have had many great ones in my life. I plan on passing the torch, the torch that hasn’t been lit for awhile, a torch that holds power of a great man. So, sweet baby boy, sit with me. Let me teach you and share with you. Let me see you grow up into the great man I know that you will be.
I am not going to claim that I know everything or that I am perfect, I am far from it. But trust me when I say that I mean well. I promise that I will be there for you as you grow up, watching you take your first steps and those first strides on the ice (because let’s be honest, your dad is going to get you on them the moment you start walking). From this you will learn to be persistent and resilient because you will fail. You will fail beautifully and nothing worth having in life will be given to you easily. So, baby boy, never be afraid to try something new. Never stop doing something you love or something you believe in because of the ignorance of others. There will be those people that will tell you that you cannot do things because it is too girly or because you stink at it. Have pride in everything you do, success comes to those who wait.
When you get discouraged, upset or feel hopeless. When you feel like everything isn’t going your way. When you are scared to show your emotions. Know that my arms will always be waiting to comfort you, I will never – intentionally – let you down. I will always tell you what you need to hear and even the things you don’t. You deserve the truth, you deserve full disclosure. The world is ugly, brutal and can be thankless but, my boy, it is also beautiful, welcoming and forgiving.
If I pass anything along to you please let it be this: always be reading, always be kind, always show compassion, love first. I don’t care what you read, just read. There is so much knowledge wrapped up in the pages of a book that if you spent your whole life reading, you would hardly make a dent. Let your imagination be free, it is a beautiful thing, take advantage of it. Learn, soak-up every piece of information that comes at you, be well-read. I will never be upset with you if you come out of school with more questions than you had going in, this is what living is.
When it comes to money, don’t let it get the best of you. Don’t let the career you pick be because of the amount of money you make, it won’t make you any more happy. Don’t let wealth and material items distract you from what is important, those things cannot be bought. You will be so much happier in this life, I promise. Do what you love, find passion in yourself.
Go out and get dirty. Run around, play, laugh. Be active in this life. I will never say no when it comes to play time. You are only little once. There are no bumps and scrapes that I can’t kiss better. There are no tears I can’t wipe away. My love for you is endless and I want you to be a carefree child. I don’t want you to have to worry about me or dad. You be you because, in the end, you are all that matters to us. You. Go, be adventurous. Camp outside under the stars and make s’mores. Pump your little legs on the swing as high as you can go and jump. Put on your red cape and pretend you are a superhero. Draw and colour. Play with trucks and cars. Break things, fix things. Be a kid. Dream big. Please don’t grow up too fast. But, sweet boy, make sure you remember to do your chores, cook with me, a simple ‘yes/no, ma’am/sir’ still goes a long way and manners are necessary.
Movie nights are important. I can’t stress this enough, my boy. Like books, movies will teach you endless lessons on life and love, of friendships and family bonds, of magical worlds and superheros, of galaxies far, far away and places you can’t fathom exist. From Beauty and the Beast to Finding Nemo, The Princess Bride to Where the Wild Things Are, Singin’ in the Rain to Star Wars, The Goonies to Dead Poet’s Society. They are all valuable, they will make an impact. Another night that will surely hold high importance is Hockey Night in Canada, Saturday’s will be reserved for it, it’s in your blood, kid.
This last bit is key. John Steinbeck once said, “the object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try and live up to it. /If you love someone – there is no possible harm in saying so / It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for some reason or another – but that does not make your feelings less valuable and good. / And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – the main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.” I will tell you more about this. Just know, that how you treat your someone special will reflect on your character. So, like I said, be kind and respectful. Do not give into the pressures of your friends, I know this will be hard, but do your best. I want you to be the boy that every little girl (and/or boy) dreams that they will meet one day.
Question EVERYTHING! Every single person is entitled to their opinion, just know how to back up that opinion. People have, and will always, distort information to serve some purpose of their own. Question it, do your research. Don’t just go off of what one person says, even if they think they are right. Just as much as they are entitled to theirs, you are entitled to yours. Take time to reflect. Choose your words carefully. Think. Don’t be scared of change, embrace it.
So, my sweet boy, wherever you are and whenever you may come know that you are already loved. You will be a beautiful combination of everything messy, everything kind, everything brilliant. For now, I will leave it at this, I cannot wait to meet you one day.