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11 Things I Want My One-Year-Old Son To Know About Me, Himself, And The World

The following was syndicated from Medium for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].

Hey Bug,

You’re napping at Kiki and Papa T’s house. It’s not your usual spot, so I’m right here next to you. I’ve got my phone and some time to kill. Instead of playing Hearthstone (a friggin awesome game; my favorite class is Warlock), I’m writing to you. Maybe you’ll read this someday.

1. You’re a peaceful sleeper. I’m watching your chest rise and fall, and it reminds me of seeing ocean waves gently roll in and out. I can almost hear them. Wait. No, I definitely hear them. It’s the white noise app.

2. You are free to form your own opinions and beliefs regarding all things except this: Pixar is a studio of magic and wonder, and Ratatouille is its best movie.

3. I get paid to write, and I also enjoy writing for fun. Cool, right? I should also tell you that I have other projects in mind that I’m too scared to even start.

4. I don’t know. I tell myself, after another 9-to-5 filled with thousands of words, that I need a break from writing. But really, that’s just an excuse that conveniently silences my fears of failure and rejection.

5. You’re not yet 2 years old, but I can already see your heart. It’s a really good one. I am so proud of you, and I’m so excited to witness the boy and man you become. I will never fathom how you got here. You were nothing, Mom and Dad had some fun, and then you were real. A slight combination of the 2 of us, but mostly uniquely you. What a trip.

6. I’ve been battling a dull, persistent sense of uncertainty and dread at the state of our world. Coincidentally, this feeling started when you were born. This overwhelming need to protect is probably something that happens to every parent, but it feels a little strange to me. The laid back person I thought I was disappeared when you showed up.

I’m a legend and a superhero in your eyes. Someday I won’t be, but that’s okay. For now, I am.

7. I want you to be kind to everyone, especially to people you don’t know yet. It’s unbelievable how many powerful, influential people screw this up. Nothing is simultaneously believed in and ignored quite like The Golden Rule.

8. There are certain things that allow us to feel closer to God. Mom’s is nature. Specifically, lying under a tree and staring up through the canopy. Mine is music. Specifically, the guitar solo in “Comfortably Numb” or “An Ocean In Between The Waves” or “Hitch A Ride.” I wonder what yours will be. I also think it’s bananas that everyone’s is different.

9. Every morning, you stand up in your crib, look out the window, point at the backyard and yell “DADA AH-MOW.” Translation: Dad mows the lawn. Your tiny brain simply cannot get over it. I’m a legend and a superhero in your eyes. Someday I won’t be, but that’s okay. For now, I am.

10. I think that’s why I’m hanging out next to you and writing you a letter. I’m lying in the bedroom I grew up in, but instead of listening to Blink-182 and trying not to suck at girls, I’m watching my boy breathe. The same physical space is now totally different, and the only reason is time. I am very conscious of the fact that you will soon have your own life and loves and obligations. This memory I’ve made by watching you is better than literally anything else I could have done with this time.

11. You’ve been passed out for 2 hours so far. Pretty good! I’ll wrap this up. I still can’t believe you’re real, and I never will. Make mistakes, ask questions, love others. Whatever happens, I’m next to you.

Luke Prayser is a professional copywriter and amateur everything else.

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