A letter to my son…

Son,

Hi. I’m Eric. You’ll call me dad. It won’t be long now before you enter the world … and change my life forever. I couldn’t be more excited for your arrival!! Seriously, I sometimes am still floored that you are there … growing big and strong in your momma’s belly. I’m excited, but I also couldn’t be more terrified, but that’s okay, we’ll likely both be terrified the first few days until we both acclimate to the shock of this new world.

I’m excited to see you discover things. You’ll begin to recognize that the booming voice that you hear is me, and you’ll learn that the other voice you hear … the one that is familiar … that brings you comfort is the same voice that you heard from inside your safe world before this one; it is the voice of your beautiful, amazing mother. You are one blessed kid to have her as your momma.

You’ll soon learn that you have hands and fingers that you’ll use to explore this cool new world … and they are the hands that will wrap around my fingers. You will also discover that you have feet … and for some strange reason, they’ll be delightfully tasty to you for a while.

There will be LOTS of people surrounding you. They may scare you at first, but that’s just because you’ve really gotten used to hanging out by yourself for the last 40 weeks, but don’t worry … they love you, and your innate awesomeness will make you irresistible to them (this will be a valuable trait to maintain as you grow older).

While I’ve been waiting for you, I’ve been thinking about things that I wanted you to know when you finally arrive in this world, and hopefully remember as you walk through this crazy journey called life. So just a few things I want you to learn, and you, undoubtedly, will teach me a thing or two along the way as well.

The first thing I want you to know is that God loves you. Your mom and I love you, but our love for you could never compare to the love that your Heavenly Father has for you. Following Him will be the most important decision you will ever make. As your daddy, I’ll know your struggles, because you are a man just as I am. We are not perfect, and our hope cannot lie within each other. Because, one day I will fail you. I will hurt you. And I am sorry for it. I want so badly to do everything right for you, but I’m sure I’ll fail, but take comfort in my love; it remains unconditional and constant, just as your Heavenly Father’s love is for you. Never forget that.

It is my job to represent the life of Christ to you. To show you what it takes in this world to be a man who loves, forgives, and is merciful. To show you what it means to be a gentleman, until one day when you are old enough, you will leave our home and go out on your own, living the story that God has called you to, and creating a home of your own.

I’ll teach you to respect women, to hold the door for her, to listen to her, honor her and learn from her. I’ll tell you it is okay to take flowers on a first date, and to call her the next day instead of waiting 2 or 3. I’ll be there with words of wisdom when you fall in love for the first time, and again when she breaks your heart. I will be there when you find your true love and when you start a family of your own.

I’ll teach you how to not take yourself too seriously, to laugh at yourself, to tie a tie, to shave, how to drive, and help with your homework … although we better let your mom help you with the math…

Listen always before you speak. Then choose your words carefully as they can bring life, and they can bring death. Your tears won’t make you less of a man, and your fists won’t make you more of one. Be slow to anger, love remains forever patient.

Know that it’s impossible to live life without regrets, but it is possible to live without making the same mistake twice. Keep yourself teachable. The teachable man will always get the job before the person one who claims to know it all already.

Everywhere I go, I’m challenged, tempted, just as you will be. The world will tell you that it is “okay because everyone does it”, that you should give your heart and body to every girl that comes along, that “one drink won’t hurt”, that “you only live once”. Son, I want you to know there is another way. A specific way that both you and I were designed for. I’ll try to never tell you how to live, only to encourage you to live the way you were created to. A way that represents you as a gentleman, as a Biblical man who puts himself second to others. A way, which states that out of the seven billion people on this planet, we were meant to share our bodies with just one. Someone who shares all your beliefs, trusts you, and knows your heart; has your heart. Wait to give yourself to a best friend you can laugh with and cry your eyes out with moments later. Make sure she is someone worth.dying.for.

There is a future out there somewhere with your name written all over it, and man am I excited to see what it has in store for you! Only you can decide if you want to live everyone else’s future, or if you want to live your own.

Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if you do not do well, you may even fail at them. That is okay. Every brilliant man and woman who has ever existed has had a long road paved with failures. The most important thing is that you keep trying and you will find the thing that excites you, and then excel at that; knock it out of the park.

Sometimes life won’t be fair. There will always be people that enjoy being mean, people that won’t want you to succeed and will hate you when you do succeed. Do not let these people bother you. Continue on in your pursuits with your head held high. The best way to silence your critics is by proving them wrong.

I will always love you. My love is unconditional, and it always will be, no matter what happens or which life decisions you make. This love will cause me to fight to the end of the earth for you, to hold your hand when you are lost, hug you when you are scared. It is with this love that I will read bed time stories, build Lego sky scrapers, climb into tree houses, turn the dining room table into a fort, play catch, go on bug hunts, and fight imaginary bad guys with swords and special powers. I will be there for your triumphs and let downs, and through it all, it will always be because of my love for you.

This same love will sometimes also cause me to send you to your room or ground you. Do not mistake this as me being mean, it is with the greatest love that I do this, because without discipline life becomes much harder.

There is SO MUCH more swimming around in my mind … but we have a long time to get to those things, for now, keep growing big and strong. I cannot wait to meet you.

I love you so much.

-Dad

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