If you’ve read the blog this week you know there’s been a theme – handwriting. I’m not sure why – but that’s where it went this week. Next week we’ll get back to pressing health care issues, or not…
My second son was born a couple of weeks ago and I have decided to handwrite a letter to him and his big brother and seal the letter in an envelope and put it away until each of their 18th birthdays. They may not appreciate the letter when they turn 18 but they will appreciate it when they have children of their own.
The letter will be for them so I won’t share the exact content but I will give you an idea about what I plan to say. I want to share my hopes and dreams for them which I hope will be in line with their hopes and dreams when they turn from boys to men.
My first hope for them is that I’ve been a good father and I’ll know I’ve been a good father if they respect women and they consider me fair. If both of those things occur I’ll be confident I’ve set an appropriate example with their mother and have been right by them.
I’ll explain to them that life is mostly about effort. You don’t have to be the smartest, strongest or the best but you do have to expend effort to be successful. Every aspect of life requires effort for success – work, relationships, community, religion and family.
I’ll share with them that it’s important to give back. We’re each a part of a community, if you want to live in a good community, do things to make it good.
I’ll explain that integrity is more important than popularity.
I’ll tell them that commitments are difficult and it’s better to not commit than not honor a commitment.
I’ll explain that loyalty is important and loyalty is usually rewarded before ambition.
I’ll tell them that prayer is important and that there will be times in life that they won’t know what to do and prayer will help them find direction. I’ll also tell them that there will be less times in life that they won’t know what to do if prayer is a priority and not a last resort.
I’ll tell them to spend time with their parents because no one on the face of the earth loves them more than their parents. I’ll tell them that their parents won’t be around forever and I’ll explain how I know.
I’ll tell them that it’s good to have a team and it’s fun to root for a winner but if it’s really your team you’ll root for them when they win and lose.
I’ll let them know that they’re men and I will never again tell them what to do. I will only tell them what I will, or will not, do but I will provide counsel and give advice almost only when asked.
I’ll tell them there are things in life they don’t yet understand and that there’s nothing I can do to help them understand. Some things they have to learn on their own, like what it’s like to have a child and be a Dad.
I’ll tell them that friends are important but friends don’t make you important.
I’ll share with them that humility is a learned trait, especially for a boy, and without it happiness will be hard to achieve.
I’ll make sure they know the value of their work is not measured by the size of their paycheck and success isn’t measured by possessions. A career is not the same as a job and if they work at something they care about they’ll find more happiness in life.
I’ll write that a book is made of paper and has pages you can flip and that they should own a few books and read every once in a while. The bible is a book and since they already own a copy so it should always be a part of their collection.
I’ll tell them that it’s important to travel and it’s important to see new things. There’s a whole world out there and it’s possible you haven’t yet found your place in it.
I’ll share that their bodies will give them what they’re given so if they want their body to give them something they’d better care for it.
Finally, I’m going to tell them that boys do stupid stuff and by the time they’re reading the letter they will be old enough to have already done lots of stupid stuff. I’ll remind them that stupid stuff doesn’t have to be wrong, but it can be, and they need to know the difference between stupid and wrong.
Their will be more but it wouldn’t be right for me to share everything. One thing is for certain – I’ll handwrite the letter.