I love you.
That comes first. And I hope that your response to that statement, is something along the lines of, “duh, say something original” because you know that without a doubt, because I’ve told you over and over again, and more importantly, because I’ve showed you every day.
I want you to know how hard it is to be a dad. It’s hard to balance the challenges of work, life in general, and being a good dad. There isn’t much of an instruction manual. And if there is, nobody shared it with me. It’s difficult to know how to discipline you, what to let you do and what to stop you from doing. It’s hard to decide when to allow you to make your own decisions, and when to dictate what you should and shouldn’t do. We know what we want you to learn, the tools that we want to equip you with, and the type of person we hope you become later in life. But we are fishing in the dark in trying to find the right way to help you get there.
I don’t say that as an excuse, but just so you’ll know that I’m working hard to be the best dad that I can be. And I hope that’s enough for you.
It’s not always easy, but we don’t want to judge you. We don’t want you to feel judged. I hope that we are able to discipline you and direct you and encourage you, without you feeling judged by us, regardless of the decisions you make. We love you and we hope that you always feel that. We are working hard to teach you right from wrong, and to teach you how to make good decisions, without you feeling like we are making value statements about who you are.
Who you are is so special to us. We love your creativity. We love that you don’t want to conform to the things that everyone else does. We love your imagination. We love you just how you are. I hope none of those things ever go away. Please continue to stay creative, and imaginative, and unique. I hope that you learn to disagree with us responsibly and respectfully, and that you will find your own voice and your own path. I hope that we earn your respect enough that you will seek us out for advice, but I also hope that we help you develop enough confidence to make your own decisions.
We are so blessed to have you. And we have no job more important than honoring that blessing. I hope we are living a story that you are proud to be a part of, and one that you are learning from. Our example, above our words, will have the most impact on your growth and development, and I hope that we are living a life that teaches you how to live a great story as well.
I love you.