I married your dad at 19 because of the person he was then. He saw me and took me as I was, and I thought there was no way I would ever love him more than I did then. I’m here to tell you, I was very mistaken. Watching him navigate life over the past eight years has shown me he is a better person than I could’ve drawn up for myself.
When you came along in your 8-pound, 6-ounce glory, kicking and screaming, the very first thing I thought was that you looked just like your dad. You still do in all of your toddler glory, and much to my amusement I have watched you love like he does, too. I hope that never ever changes.
I hope you never question reaching out to help someone even if there are others who tell you not to.
I pray you bust your butt to get home to your family for dinner like your daddy does.
I don’t want you to stay up all hours of the night worrying about how to provide for your family, but I hope you follow your dad’s example in always putting your family first. Even if your wife sometimes questions you. (Sorry, honey. Love you!)
I want you to go out of your way to be there for your extended family, but I want you to do it because you want to and not because you carry the weight of familial obligation.
I hope you see the value in education and strive to always learn more.
I pray you support your wife and push her forward when she needs it.
I hope you always choose to see the best in people. Your dad is good at that.
I want you to believe in second chances, but I don’t want you to be naïve like me.
I hope you are always the first one to say sorry. Your dad always is. Even if he’s not the one who’s wrong, but he doesn’t let people run him over. I’m not sure how, but somehow it makes him stronger. I want that for you.
I pray you lead with your head instead of your heart. Don’t get me wrong, your heart can pull you in the right direction sometimes, but more often than not you need logic. I’m not good at that, but your dad is the best.
I want you to be headstrong like he is. Sure of yourself in all things, but not afraid to say you are wrong if you ever are. I’m not good at being the bigger person (truly, I’m the worst) but your dad sure is.
I hope you see other people’s insecurities and never bring attention to them. I want you to handle them with care.
I hope more than anything you grow up and love like your daddy. I pray you take the best pieces of him and magnify them even more. I don’t think these things will be hard for you.
I already see you emulating the characteristics that are laid out before you each day. I know if you hang on to these examples, you will grow into a man who loves better than most anyone I know. You have the best teacher.