I stumbled across a letter I wrote to my son, who is now 4 years old, when I found out my wife and I were pregnant for the first time. As you can imagine, I was filled with a multiplicity of emotions and plans. To make sense of it, I wrote this letter to my son.
I just found out that I am going to be your father. Though you are not yet fully formed, I wanted to write this to you and welcome you to the world and to our family. We have been saving a place for you. You are lucky, because your mother is one of the most loving and instinctively nurturing human beings on the planet. This will be an enormous advantage for you, because there are many lessons to be learned. So listen carefully to her.
Some things to look out for when you get here. First, you should be aware that your mother will probably cut funny shapes out of your food when she hands you your lunch box for school. Your PB&J sandwich might look a lot like the shape of a heart or a flower. She's not doing this to embarrass you, she just feels like she has earned the right to be overly motherly regardless of how severe a beating you may receive from your classmates.
Second, when you call your 3rd grade teacher a crabby douche bag, I'll be secretly amused, but I will have to ground you, because you don't need to tread the same path your father did. It just leads to a first name basis familiarity with your principal and that doesn't look good on a transcript. Third, your mother and I are going to be dressing you in silly little outfits for the first 2 years of your life. Somehow, dressing children up as sailors and cowboys, is a requisite of early parenthood and it wouldn't look good to the other parents if we didn't trot you out in a pair of lime green overall's and matching hat at least once a week.
Soon enough you will be dressing yourself. You can wear whatever you like, if you're a boy...if you're a girl, I will be monitoring it very closely. Not to be unfair, but to save myself from a homicide charge when I have to kill your boy friend for getting handsy.
You can wear your hair anyway you like; however, your mother will probably have some strong opinions on how it should be worn. If you can get past her, you're ok.
You're mother will buy cutesy little band aid's for when you get hurt and will kiss your scratches and tell you it will make it better. It won't, but it’s nice to get the attention.
You will think that I am a dork, but your friends will think I'm the coolest Dad ever.
You should be aware that your mother has terrible taste in music. She will tell you differently, but you should explore other channels on the radio station when you get the chance, just to expose yourself to a world of tunes sung by people old enough to vote. If you need any help in finding great music, come talk to me and I'll help you out. Also, your mother is a little power hungry over the t.v. remote. Take it at your own risk.
Your school years are tricky. Some years you will love and some years you will hate. There will be those who will make fun of you mercilessly and there will be those that you make fun of mercilessly. Neither will make you feel very good about yourself. Its part of growing up, finding where you fit, and creating just who it is that you are. This is also the time that you will likely want the least to do with your mother and me. That's ok. We won't like it and we will ride your ass, but it is ok. Finding your way through this is really something that you can only do on your own. It takes time, creativity, and a lot of mistakes; just hang in there because what you will become on the other side will be uniquely you.
As you navigate your way through the terrain of your life, you will find a wonderfully strange world that bares the mark of your own imagination. It will be a voyage of purest discovery. Every decision you make will invite you into another dimension of possibility and regret. You will learn to listen to the dark sounds that toll around and within you, calling your attention to the value of the moment...the sounds that will remind you to be contented with where you are and what you have...the sounds that will seize you with a capacity for homage and wonder. Listen to them and put your dreams to music. For it is in these moments that the refracted images of life's prism, becomes recognizable.
Welcome to the world little one. There is a place reserved for you in my arms, in my thoughts, in my prayers, in my heart...in my world.
See you soon.