Letters to My Son – Just Wrote To Say

December 12th

To my firstborn son, Jack,

I’m writing this to you just as you’re a few weeks old. At this point in your life you’re unable to read much less understand anything that I might try to say. As far as I can tell, your only concerns are to fed, sleep, and receive your parents’ undying attention, but I write hoping that one day these letters would tell you what kind of people your mom and I are as we bring you into this world. I thought it might be important because I’m not quite sure we’ll be the same when you’re old enough. God forbid anything should happen to us, at least you’ll always have a part of me.

I know you won’t be the same when you’re older and it’s important to know where you come from. Sitting by your crib, I can already tell that you have your mother’s sense of humor. You laugh at almost everything I say and blankly look at me when my jokes aren’t too funny. You also have her twinkling eyes and and her cute nose that first attracted me to her. I can see your grandfather’s chin, which is mine also. It’s a chin forged through years of sturdiness and calm, something that you’ll need in this stressful and hectic world. I’m sorry, but you also have my ears. They’re also going to help instill something inside you, because the other kids and the girls will probably make fun of you for them.

I find myself utterly unprepared to be your father. Night after night, I wonder what kind of person you might become and the role that I’ll play in the man that you’ll be. Please don’t judge me or your mom too harshly, but I think your little brother or sister will turn out better. You’re our first and we’re going to try our hardest, but we’ll make mistakes. I just hope they’re not that kind of mistakes that leave you with years of therapy bills or latent fears that may pervade into your other relationships.

In a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating your very first Christmas! Your mom and I are very excited. She wants to make a big deal of it, but I keep telling her that I’ll just dress you in a big black garbage bag and call it a day. You’ll grow to find that your dad’s not too keen on the fashion senses. I think your mom will win with this one and you’re going to have a great first Christmas… assuming you’re still a good boy these next two weeks.

I plan to write you again. I’ll tell of how I met your mother, lessons that I want to pass on, and share the things I value the most. Again, that’s the purpose of these letters. So that one day, you know who your old man and his wife are and maybe in a small way figure out who you are too.

You are always wanted and well loved.

I love you dearly,

Dad

To Make Much Of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today 
To-morrow will be dying. 
.
The glorious lamp of Heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run.
And nearer he’s to setting.
.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

This was written by Robert Herrick in the 17th century. A prolific writer, he penned over 2,500 poems. The overwhelming messages of his work is that the world is a beautiful place, love is splendid, that life is short, and we must make use of the time we have on Earth. Carpe diem!

Seize the day. Seize this day. That’s the “anthem” of the modern day person. We’re suppose to wake up, fly out of bed, feet landing with a thud, and squeeze every bit of pulp out of life. No matter what the circumstances, we shouldn’t be overly tired, overly stressed, overly sad, or dwell on the past. At any point, if we linger on the negative or less than happy emotions or physical state, we’ve lived less than we could. We must be forward thinking and always moving forward. The arrow of time after all does not sit still nor take a turn back once it’s been flung.

It’s really tough to imagine this kind of person if they really exist. It’s an ideal. We often wake up groggy and wearied eyed from staying up too late for no good reason, barely able to drag ourselves away from the bed. We’re battered from working in our cubicles, spending at least eight hours a day doing work that we don’t love or even like all too much, coming home lifeless and out of breath. We’re pained by loss and heartache. Life always has a way of completely stopping us in its tracks. We dwell and ruminate. Our arrow frozen in flight, encased in a thickening shell of ice.

Then one day we wake up and realize that the promises of more days might not come again and that there may be less days ahead than behind. We worry that our legacy will be, “He worked hard at so and so for x number of decades and had nothing to show for it”. We angst at the thought that our lives might amount to be very unremarkable and unknown.

This is why I’ve been and will be writing again. Not for fame or riches, but for the need to always create, engage, and tell stories that tickle my soul and fire the synapses of imagination. I’ve found the most joy and deep passion out of this and it’s my way of seizing the day. What’s yours?

This isn’t a call to irresponsibility and to drop everything in life, although it might mean that. This is a call to live each day in richness, fullness, and joy. This is a call to passion and its relentless pursuit. Time to abandon the shackles and whatever else holds you down. Walk with me. Do, create, share, live, enjoy. And here we begin again.

The Things that are Important to Me