Today, we celebrate the one year anniversary of the birth of The Jakester. In other words, Happy Birthday Buddy! In honor of my little man, I thought what better time to not only express my thoughts and feelings about having a son, but also partially complete an item on my 30 Before 30 list. So with that being said, below you will find a letter to my boy. I am publishing it here because I want everyone to know how proud I am to be his father, but also because I’ve always made personal connections a priority with this blog. So while this letter is directed to The Jakester, I hope you’ll take a minute to celebrate his birth by reading it yourself.
I will warn you now that for those of you who read my posts for the humorous stories and witty anecdotes, you may not enjoy this. You may even shed a tear or two (Lord knows I practically did just writing it). So here’s the softer side of The Wordslinger; and don’t worry, I’m not leaving Izzy out, she’ll get a letter soon enough.
To My Son,
I am writing this letter on the first anniversary of your birth. How old you are now, when you are reading this for the first time, I do not know. Perhaps you’ve just come home from school or we just finished playing a round of golf together. Maybe you are reading this for the first time after you passed your driver’s test on your 16th birthday. Whatever the case may be, you were once my little one-year-old boy and somewhere deep inside, that’s what you will always be.
One year ago today, I looked into your blue eyes for the first time and knew I was blessed to be your father. Holding you in my arms brought back a flood of memories of time spent with my father growing up. I told myself at that moment that if I could be the kind of father he was to me, then I would know I had succeeded as a Dad. I certainly hope that one day, you’ll agree.
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to have a son one day. Someone to share my love of sports with, to teach how to play catch or swing a golf club. Someone to take camping and teach life lessons to. I can do all these things with your sister as well, and I certainly hope I do, but there is a bond between father and son that I always knew I wanted. The moment I laid eyes on you, one year ago this day, I knew I had it.
There have been times during your first year with us that have both pained and overjoyed me. Your first few months were filled with crying spells and sleepless nights. There were times when holding you wasn’t enough to stop the tears and it broke my heart. But as you grew out of your infancy, your personality began to develop, along with that incredible smile. The first time you laughed, the first time your little fingers wrapped themselves around mine; these were moments of pure elation that are stored in my mind like priceless jewels in a vault. There hasn’t been a single second of your life that I haven’t thanked the good Lord for allowing me the chance to be your Dad, and I want you to know that I will always strive to be the best Dad I can be.
By the time you read this letter, I will have likely embarrassed you on a number of occasions. Whether it’s a story of you as a baby that I told in front of your friends or my over-enthusiastic cheers for you at one of your games, I have no doubt that my actions will make you roll your eyes. Just know that I’ve done those things to show the world how proud I am of you and how much I love you.
There will be times in your life when a fork in the road will force you to make a decision. As you grow up, my advice will be needed, and especially wanted, less and less but will always be there nonetheless. We will have disagreements and arguments along the way; but always remember that I only ever want you to be happy and so my words of wisdom, however accurate they may be, come from a place of unconditional love.
There are a million ways to describe the unequaled love I have for you and your sister, and as someone who considers themselves a bit of a writer, I could transform this letter into a novel by penning them all here. I’m afraid though, that by flooding you with a bunch of words that all mean the same thing, I’d be watering down my message. So rather than go on and on, I’ll simply end this letter by saying that being a good father to you and your sister will be the greatest achievement of my life. I will be there for you always and love you forever buddy.Love, Your Dad