It’s your birthday. I have been trying all day to write my usual letter to you but it just hasn’t worked.
I am taking a different tactic. Stay with me to the end.
You aren’t very responsible.
You are on the phone way too much.
You can be pretty lazy.
You play the x-box too much.
You can be goofy.
You talk too much.
You aren’t very patient with Kinsley.
You are a slob.
You never make your bed.
You dress slouchy.
You are a super picky eater.
You don’t try new things often.
You don’t say things you need to say.
You don’t have great study habits.
You won’t be my little fella forever.
The usually mushy birthday stuff just didn’t fit today so I starting this with 15 things that aren’t great about you.
Believe it or not I so have a point here.
You are 15. You aren’t a little fella anymore. You are a young man. As a young man feeling your way in this world you are going to do things I don’t like. You are going to make decisions differently than I want you to. I am not going to always like you and, as hard as it is to believe, you aren’t always going to like me. I’ll hold you too tight and will have more rules than you like. You’ll try everything you can to tear away and you’ll test every rule I make. And teenagers just by nature aren’t always great. Neither are stressed out moms.
Your half-smile melts my heart.
You make me laugh.
You are so sweet and attentive to your baby sister.
You have all the character you’ll need to succeed.
You walk with swagger.
Your quick wit and infectious laugh makes people happy.
You are good with people.
You are a beast on the water and that is about so much more than you winning.
Your protective nature let’s me know that you will be a great father.
You are stinking adorable when you wear your hat backwards.
You are the best part of me.
You are a gentleman.
You are kind.
You are brave.
You are you and you are incredible.
I have a point here too. No matter which of the 15 not so great things you do there are 15million great things that you willdo. And you know what? I’ll be there. I’ll yell some, I’ll get angry some, I’ll be disappointed in some of your actions but I’ll be there. That’s just reality.
I’ll also be there to help you pick out a tuxedo for your prom. I’ll make you breakfast before the SAT. I’ll be at every swim meet cheering loudly-probably wearing an embarrassing tshirt. Someday I’ll cry with you when you suffer a loss. I’ll wash your clothes and meet your girlfriends. I’ll tell you to read more and to text less. One day (far, far away) you’ll walk me down the aisle at your wedding. (Crap-I am tearing up). One day you’ll hand me a baby and tell me it’s a boy or a girl and you’ll let me make your wife mad when you let me come stay a week to help you take care of my grandchild.
We have a lot to do, you and I. There are a lot of things we will do together. There are more things ahead that you’ll do on your own. You’ll do some of them right and you’ll do some of them wrong. And it’s okay.
You’ll always be my fella. You’ll always have my heart. I’ll love you when you aren’t perfect. I’ll love you when you don’t do what I think you should. I’ll love you for the man you’ll be-not the man I expect or hope you to be.
I am going to put a picture here. A casual picture to most people but to me–to me—it sums up who I see when I see you. I see a stud rocking sweat pants. I see my little fella with his hat on backwards. I see you with eyes only on your sister which shows me so much of your heart. I see you holding a book and a Gatorade. That’s both sides of you. I see this and know you are on your way to learn to so another water sport. I see this and I see a good, strong man.