Letters to My Kids

My promise to you, squirt.

Hey squirt.

Your mom thought it would be a good idea to write down our thoughts and prayers for you in a blog, so I’m ready to do my part. You may be wondering why I called you squirt. First off, I always called your uncle Brian squirt when he was a kid. I never asked him, but I’m pretty sure he understood that it was my way of saying I liked him and was going to take care of him. I don’t think he’ll mind sharing the nickname with you. Wear it with pride.

There are a lot of books written about how to parent kids. Apparently it’s a pretty complicated deal, and I’m not going to pretend like I know exactly how it should be done. Something tells me that it’d be a bit stupid, and any grand pronouncements I make now are going to be thoroughly ridiculed by future me (and probably future-mom, too). So I’m not going to do that.

What I am going to do is make you a few promises. I promise that we are waiting for you, hoping for you, and talking about you. I promise to enjoy the little things in life as you discover them. I promise to listen when you’ve done something really cool. I promise to tell you stories of all the cool things I did when I was younger. I promise to celebrate with you when things are awesome, and cry with you when things go wrong. I promise to teach you how to burn ants with a magnifying glass, make loud noises to startle your mom, make a fire burn awesome colors, find cool shapes in the clouds, and chase squirrels (but not across streets!). I promise to do my best to make your life a place where you have fun, feel safe, and know you are loved. I’ll even teach you how to play Flaming Tennis Ball Catch ™.

There are a lot of people who are busy telling everyone that kids should make their own decisions. They say you’re smart enough to decide for yourself what is true. They say that if I leave you alone that you’ll make wise choices that will make me proud, and they say that I’ll be glad I didn’t push you too hard.

I love you too much for that.

See, that’s the second half of my promise. I promise that I will let you be yourself, but that I’ll also help make you someone you’ll be proud of when you grow up. I promise to make you eat your vegetables, because they’re delicious and healthy. I promise to make you finish everything on your plate before you eat dessert. I promise to make you go to school to learn things even when you don’t feel like it.

Religion is something that people don’t want me to “force” you into. But again, I love you too much to leave it to chance. I promise to show you that God is too big to ignore, and I hope you will love Him just as much as I do. I promise to share with you how much He (and your mom and dad) love you, and that He died to save you. I promise to help you understand that your mission in life is to follow His example and to love others, protect the innocent, and be generous with what you’ve been given. I want to make you like Him.

I’ve always loved teaching, and you’re going to be my favorite student. My job is to pass on to you everything I’ve learned in life, and to help you make the right choices. I love you enough that I’ll keep loving you and helping you even when you don’t understand or appreciate it.

I can’t wait to meet you. I have so much to teach you. I love you.

Dad

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