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To my sweet little boy,
I love how much you love your daddy. Even though it sometimes pains me when you’ve been a butt for me all day and you’re an angel for him, I love the way the door opens and you drop everything and run to him, demanding he pick you up. You wrap your arms around his neck and want to tell him all about your day. He might not be able to understand a word of it, but it doesn’t matter. You just want him to know all about the adventures you had that day.
When you see your dad, I know you’re seeing so much more. You’re too young to really understand his job yet, but you know there’s something special about what he does.
Regardless, he’s your hero.
When he comes home, he’s the one who lets you climb all over him, who’ll toss you on the bed, and tickle you until you can’t breathe.
He’s the one you go to when you’re sick of mom (it doesn’t happen often, but let me tell you – it can happen more, if you want 🙂 #mamasboy)
I want you to know how lucky you are to have such a hardworking father. Seriously, he works so hard. And it’s not just for you and me, but for everyone else, too. He sacrifices so much of himself for others: his time, his sleep, sometimes his sanity. He does so to keep those around him safe. And he does it without getting fame or glory or any of it. He does it because it matters to him to do a good job.
I want you to know how much he loves you. He would literally give everything to make you happy. Like that time he bought you the Lego choo-choo out of his own fun money, just so you guys could put it together “together”? (because at this age, it was more him putting it together and me keeping you out of the way ;)) He said it was worth every penny when he saw your eyes light up when it was complete (and maintained that, even after you broke it apart and he had to redo it ?)
And don’t get me started on what he would do to keep you safe. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to protect you.
I love how your eyes light up when you hear sirens or see flashing lights on a fire truck or police car. I love the innocent way you yell, “weeoo! weeoo!” I love that you see your dad and his friends as superheroes who get to drive big, fun, noisy trucks.
I love that you look up to your daddy, even if it scares me to think of you someday working in the same field. And I know there’s a good chance that you will.
But there are some things I hope you’ll learn from him.
I want you to learn how to help others. I hope you see all that he gives up and recognize that truly, the only way to find your life is to lose it in the service of others. I hope you’ll learn how to always put others first.
I want you to learn the importance of being honest. With your dad’s interrogation skills, you’re not going to have an easy time rebelling as a teenager. Your dad will have seen and heard it all before, and he’ll probably even understand the lingo and technology way better than I will. I hope you know that our priority is to raise you to be a productive member of society and to keep you safe, not to ruin your life (even if it feels that way sometimes.)
I want you to learn how to be a man. I want you to know how to be strong, how to be brave, and how to have the mental stamina to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. I also want you to know how and when to use your strength appropriately. I hope you grow up to help others and lift them up, not to hurt them or tear them down.
I want you to learn how important knowledge is. Every day I look at you and think I’d give anything for you to stay exactly as you are now, even when you’re being difficult. I wish you didn’t have to grow up and learn about the ugliness of the world. I wish you could just enjoy your trains, and your stuffed animals, and remain innocent.. but it’s not my choice.
Since I can’t stop you from growing up, I want you to learn all you can. I want you to know how that knowledge can benefit you, in the same way it benefits Daddy every day. His knowledge of the world helps him identify unsafe situations, have a realistic (if not jaded) view of others, and actually helps him to be better equipped to help others.
That being said, I hope you can always believe the best in people. I don’t want you to grow up believing people are inherently bad. I hope you see the good in others, even with all the bad in the world.
Sweet boy, more than anything, I want you to grow up and make this world a better place.
I know there’s a lot of ugliness. I know there’s a lot of hurt. I know there’s so much we can’t do anything about.
But I also know that one person can make a difference. I want you to know that, too – and I want that fact to help you feel hopeful about the future, no matter what situations you’re faced with later on.
Sweetheart, I love you so much.
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