Thursday, February 1, 2007

A Letter to My Kids

Dear Kids,

I know things have been difficult lately, but there are lessons to be learned here, too. Although it sometimes seems dark, you are learning things from this experience that will benefit you your whole lives.

First, let me say that I'm proud of you both. Yes, things have been difficult for me, but I realize that they have also been difficult for both of you. It has been a hard few months, but we've really managed to pull it together.

Things haven't been easy for you, and I realize that. I have done my best to make it as smooth as possible; still, there are some things that are beyond the control of a man. At the end of the day, though, life is difficult for everyone. So when you feel yourself getting frustrated, try to remember that it is the challenges that give life its flavor. Without them, we would each have a mundane existence devoid of any real meaning.

Don't be angry with your mother for the way she reacts to you living with me. She loves you, and she is human, so she hurts just like the rest of us. Try to understand that although she may say spiteful things, at the end of the day, she is merely lashing out against the hurt, and not necessarily at you. It may not be fair, but where emotions are involved, fairness is rarely a consideration.

Don't be angry with your step-mom for leaving. We each have to do what is best for our own lives. That is true for me, it's true for you, and it's true for her. Sometimes people aren't running away from something, they're running to something else. Try to respect the fact that different people have different needs, and they may not always make sense to us.

Don't be angry with me for the way things have turned out. Being an adult is difficult most of the time, and the right decisions are sometimes harder to choose than they appear.

I don't want this experience to leave either of you jaded or bitter. Although there are always exceptions, there are very few bad people in the world. Mostly, there are bad decisions, and usually these decisions are made by otherwise good people. I've always told you to take risks in your life (SAFE risks, anyway). Sometimes they pay off, and sometimes they don't. If they don't, it doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't make other people bad, either.

Always try to find the good in people. If you look hard enough, I promise you'll find something good about everyone you meet. Try to ignore the bad. We all have faults. Some faults are obvious, others are kept well hidden, but every person has something less than perfect about him or her.

Be good to one another. You are each the only person in the world uniquely qualified to understand what the other has been through. Over time, you'll realize that this bond is special and important, and you'll be glad you have each other.

Don't hold back in love. Sure, you might get hurt eventually - a lot of us do. But despite how it feels, it is well worth the risk. No matter what happens, always strive to love like you've never been hurt before, and never give up the fight. While you're doing this, don't forget to love yourself. Never tolerate anyone treating you poorly.

Son... oh, son. I know we have had some rough spells lately as you make this difficult transition into manhood, but would you believe I still sometimes think of you as my baby boy? I remember when you were about 2, and you had a hard time making the "k" sound. You always used "t" instead. Instead of "cookie", you would say "tookie". One time I tried to show you. I said, "No son, it's 'cookie'. Say 'c-c-c-cookie'". Eager to please, you imitated me the best you could: "c-c-c-tookie!"

Princess... You've always managed to have daddy wrapped around your little finger. Although I feared having a daughter, from the day we brought you home from the hospital, I was hooked. I appreciate all of your help, both around the house, and in doing your best to be my friend, but try to remember that I'm the parent. Your childhood is nearly over, and you only get one. It is one of the most precious things in life - don't squander it.

Son, don't let any of my experiences impact your view of women. Sometimes you may feel like you'll never understand them, but that is part of what makes life interesting. You are, no doubt, aware of the obvious: women are soft and warm, they smell good, and they give you butterflies in your stomach.

What you also need to keep in mind, son, is that women are just as capable as men. Like men, women can be creative, smart, assertive, intuitive, and fun. In fact, a good woman makes the best friend. If you only remember one thing, remember this: always treat women with respect and honesty. Tell the truth, be yourself, treat her the way you want her to treat you, and the rest will take care of itself.

Keep doing what you're doing, kids, and things will work out fine. We'll get through this together. Remember: even on a cloudy day, the sun is still there, patiently waiting for the wind to take the clouds away.

Love always,

Dad

3 comments:

Dream Reader said...

2ChildrenThat was beautifully written letter. You're giving your children a wonderful example to live by. You're a good Dad!!

Wounded Heart said...

Thank you - I appreciate the kind words.

Kristy said...

Wow, I hope someday I can say all those things to my kids.What wonderful words and what a great example you are to your children!!!