Below is a letter written to my son. Above is a picture of him “reading” a book. He doesn’t actually know how to read yet (or does he???). But the below letter is for him later when he does eventually learn how. I am writing it now so he kind of gets a feel for what was going on in daddy’s crazy mind while he was very little. It’s written for Marcus, and I’m sharing it with anyone else who cares to read it…
Some people are going to tell you that daddy is a smart guy. Maybe grandma will tell you, it may be daddy’s friends, and you might even hear it from mommy on occassion. But don’t believe any of them. The truth is, daddy is not very smart at all. Yes, there will be moments where you have some questions that I will be able to answer correctly, and maybe a few useful things that I will be able to teach you too. But in reality…I know very little. There is so much that I wish I knew, and I want nothing more than to be the wise dad who is able to pass on tons of valuable knowledge to you. And I promise to do my best at doing just that. But it seems that the more stuff I try to learn and figure out…the more stuff I realize I don’t know. I just hope you understand…
The cool thing is, as you grow up, me and you are going to learn a bunch of stuff together. You are going to be able to teach me some really awesome stuff too! You already have, and I wrote about it a little bit here (assuming this site and the internet still exists in the next few years when you finally are able to read). And I promise to do my part and try to teach you as best as I can too.
So let’s start with something that I do know. And it is actually something I just very recently learnt. What I have just recently learnt is the true meaning of the word want, and how meaningless that word was for me before. You see, before you came into our lives, I always thought I wanted “stuff”. I wanted a nice house, I wanted a nice car, and I wanted to have nice clothes. But it wasn’t until you arrived that I realized what it is like to truly want something.
Here is the strange part: Looking back, I never ever could have even imagined how badly it is that I wanted you in my life. Even when me and mommy were “trying” (you will understand later), I never fully grasped how badly it was that I would want you as part of my life. Deep down I guess I just thought it would be fun, neat, and cool to have you. I was way wrong. It’s not that things haven’t been really fun, neat and cool since you arrived…but there is way more to You than that. And I have no idea how to fully describe it any better…
Having and wanting a nice house, car, or clothes…those are the things that should be described as fun, neat, and cool. But wanting and now having you means way more. So even though daddy still likes and wants that other “stuff”…there are new things that I want much much more. And it’s these things that I really want that I really know nothing about…
I WANT you to be happy.
I WANT you to believe you can do anything.
I WANT you to forgive me when I screw up.
I WANT you to be proud of me.
So this is what I mean when I say daddy knows very little. I have no idea about how those 4 things are going to work out. It scares me looking at that list of things I want so badly for the both us. And having to wonder how it’s all going to play out in our lives makes me nervous. I tell myself that it will all be ok and these things will work themselves out for the best. And I do truly hope that they will. I just wish I could go out and pay good money for all those 4 things to come true. I know I want it, but it is NOT like how I wanted all that other “stuff” before. Are these the type of things that kind of just have to “happen” and go “right” in order for it to all fall into place? Is it mostly luck? Daddy really doesn’t know…
So Marcus, daddy is going to make you some promises. And these promises are made just as much to daddy himself as they are to you. Here goes…
I promise to be by your side whenever you need a friend or someone to stand by you.
I promise to always be behind you for support. And I will stay behind you for the times you need help pushing two steps forward, whenever you feel like you may have taken one step back.
And I promise whenever you need guidance or are afraid of where you are headed, I will gladly stand in front and charge forward WITH you. And we will find out where we are going together.
Daddy is going to do everything he can to keep these promises. My hope is, that if I am able to keep all these promises, that I will get what I really want after all. I want to be able to look at you and say “yes, all those things I want is going to happen”, because I want it to happen so badly. But really I have no idea.
I do know that you are going to make me proud. I don’t doubt that for a second. What I don’t know is when and how badly I am going to mess up. Because I will mess up sometimes (a lot of times?) in my attempts to raise you. And even though I know it’s going to happen, I still want YOU to be proud of ME as your father. I might give you some terrible piece of advice. I might even be the worst example and hypocrite for some of the things I try to teach you. But when these mess-ups inevitably happen, I hope you can forgive me. And I hope you know that I always had nothing but the very best intentions for you. Because I want you to be able to hold your head up and puff out your chest and tell anyone who will listen that…”That’s my daddy!”
I never knew how badly I wanted you until you got here. But you are here now, and I have no clue what I ever did to deserve that. I am forever grateful to whatever god/baby delivering stork/biology or whatever combination of magic it was that got you here (mommy had a pretty big part to do with it too!). And as much as I promised that I will be next to you, behind or in front…I know I want You next to me, behind me, and leading the way for me just as badly! Because I don’t know how to do it by myself. But me and you together…will figure it out.