Sweet Child of Mine

Dear son:

I think it's important for you to have a glimpse into my mind in the days leading up to your delivery, so I've decided to put a few thoughts into 1's and 0's and forever immortalize them on the internet. You can ask yourself: was my dad a narcissist? And the answer is clearly yes. But more than that, I'm curious as to what MY father was like before I knew him and though I can intellectualize that he was probably similar to the man I met in my teens (or how I view him now), there is something about my presence in this life that has changed him.

So here is my attempt at what life was like without you as well as little nuggets of advice that will probably be pretentious.

1) The world was overall pretty odd, but from what I understand, that's nothing new. Politicians are fighting about taxes and Tea Parties and health care and how they're all corrupt. And again, from what I understand, that's old news. So this is where your dad stands on everything related to politics: everyone can be bought, politics IS a popularity contest, and the United States is still one of the greatest nations on Earth. Why? I can vote however I want, swear at whoever I want, and own whatever I can afford. And that's nice.

2) Your mom and I haven't been to church since Christmas and before that, we hadn't gone in several years. Maybe we're bitter, maybe we're jaded, maybe we just don't know any better, but we also like sleeping on Sundays. Feel free to choose whatever path you want, just don't compromise who you really are (whatever that means to you). As near as I can tell, the sun comes up every day and it rains on the just and the unjust.

3) I love your mom a lot. If it ever seems like I don't, remind me that I do.

4) We did a lot of fun stuff before you got here but I don't really resent you for us having to change that. We waited for a long time before having you and the reason we waited was because we were selfish. We wanted to do everything we could before having the additional responsibilities of kids. We've traveled, gone to concerts and plays (ask your mom about the time we tried to go to Lion King twice), played a ton of video games, gardened, fixed the house and broken the house and overall, we lived the life we wanted to. So life before you was just what we wanted and we expect that life with you will be better. Don't let me down.

5) We want you here. We wanted you here. This was a wonderful time in our lives to bring a child into the world and so we did. That's how we roll. We've found that if we want something, we have to plan for it, work for it, and then get it. There aren't a lot of shortcuts in life and if you find one, great, but don't count on them.

6) Being a teenager is hard.

7) When I was born, my parents threw out all their old records that they thought weren't for kids. I felt like I missed out on so much good stuff. I mean, Dad tossed Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, and a host of other amazing music that I had to discover on my own. I resented him for it, but now understand: they wanted me as protected as possible. If you ever think we are entirely lame for whatever line in the sand we draw (no dating until 16 or no R-rated movies until you're 9 or no swearing in the house), just know that at one point, we didn't really care about those things and just want to protect you. And while it's true we are lame, we have sacrificed something to make you the coolest kid we know.

8) I should have composed a rough draft of this.

9) Technology is never a salvation. Make sure you control it, not the other way around. And whatever you do, make sure you can sync your calenders with your mobile device.

10) When you fall in love, it will seem like no one understands just how much you love this person. But that's because they have probably experienced it too and know that that feeling doesn't last forever. Just enjoy it anyway, but protect your heart and the heart of the other person. As Outkast says, "If what they say is nothing lasts forever, what makes love the exception?"

11) Before you got here, we mostly slept in on weekends, went out to eat once a week, watched a lot of TV, walked the dogs, and worked or studied. I played a lot of Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3, read a little, and messed around with projects (most recently replaced the garbage disposal). Your mom read magazines, worked, and watched tv. I'm sure she did more than that, but all I can remember is the last month of pregnancy, when she was mostly waddling everywhere and exhausted from carrying your chunky butt around.

It's odd, but we already love you and can't really explain the bond we have with you. I suppose that's the mystery of humanity and the beautiful enigma of having language to try and describe what we feel. So that's that: We love you.


Recommended reading list

I found something that should be read before Robby gets here.