A letter to my son on Father’s Day
This post was published in 2011, but when I went to look for it today — it was gone. How did I accidentally delete it? Thanks to some really incredible tech support, I was able to salvage it by copying and pasting the original.
So, although it is not Father’s Day, it is the perfect time to be reflective and to give thanks.
The Original Letter
One day you will be a Dad. This letter is meant to be read when you are celebrating your first Father’s Day. You’ll have a life full of wonderful opportunities to learn firsthand from your own Dad what it means to be a committed husband, father and family man and for this I’m so very grateful.
But today, I’m going to take a moment to share some lessons from your Granddad, my father that you never met and only know through pictures and stories. Your Granddad’s life was all about teaching love in subtle ways, in bold ways. Nothing was an inconvenience. In fact, he would always say, “If there’s love, there’s no burden. If there’s a burden, it’s loved.” Granddad loved with all of his being. Nothing was more important than family to Granddad. Nothing.
There is nothing quite like a father/daughter relationship and my hope is that you will experience it one day. One day, I hope you get to hold your daughter in your arms and know exactly why I’m sharing my hope and wishes with you today.
My hopes for you…
- You get to say prayers by your daughter’s bedside (even when she’s in her late 20′s).
- Your daughter wears your shoes around the house when she’s little and waits for you at the front door until you come home. And later in her life, she wears your top coat when she’s in college.
- You dance with your daughter all the time and she looks forward to more dances.
- You make up lyrics to songs and sing all the time and make sure you sing Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra when she’s a baby; it will always be her favorite lullaby (I sang it to you).
- You learn the craft of storytelling and weave the very best stories EVER. She’ll remember every good night story and wish she could hear the story of the Little Match Girl one more time.
- Bring her to Fenway Park often and she’ll know all about tradition, loyalty and magic her entire life.
- Recognize abilities not disabilities within people. Play Santa for children with severe special needs and bring her with you because she’ll witness respect and empathy firsthand.
- Drive her and her friends any and everywhere and wait patiently when she is the last one to leave the school dance and never complain.
- Write her handwritten notes and letters everyday because she’ll save them all
- Intimidate boys when they start calling and coming over to your house. Grill them, judge their handshakes and ask them what DNA stands for while you walk them to the car. As they drive away, write down the license plate and point to your watch as a reminder of her curfew. She’ll appear embarrassed, but deep down she’ll love it and be so proud that you are her Dad!
- Drive in snowstorms and blizzards – do whatever it takes to follow through on your word. If you say you’re going to be there, be there. She’ll remember that you never missed anything important in her life and that you were always there.
- Model what it means to love her mother because years later she’ll realize how much that meant when she becomes a mother.
- Character is what you do when no one is looking. Reputation is what you do when people are watching. Focus on your character.
- Live your life with respect and integrity because your daughter will notice.
- And most importantly, love with all of your being.
My wish-list for you could go on and on. Just remember to see the best in people, take in stray animals, make time for those you love, always be a good listener, have an infectious laugh, be loyal and true and always help those in need because she will notice and cherish every moment with you. I learned so much from my Dad and miss him every single day, but he lives on through me and now through you. Passing on his love and legacy to you is one of the best gifts I could give you.