My Little Son,
Tonight is the first night that you are spending at your mother's house, and I thought that it would be so exciting to have this huge bed all to myself, but I have discovered that I cannot sleep without your little feet kicking my back. I want to write you a small note that might capture some of the feelings that I have during this transition.
If the day comes that you stumble upon this blog, scroll through the archives, and find this post, call me. I don't care what time it is or what I may be doing, call me. There is so much that I want to talk with you about, and I am sure that won't change even to the day you are reading this. You might even remember this day. Do you remember when I took you to the Intrepid museum? I am sure that we went many times while living in NYC, but this time was special. When we were getting the tickets, I lied and told them that you were two, so I wouldn't have to pay the $12 to get you in, and you were quick to shout out "No, I'm not two; I'm three!" I won't lie about your age again. We played in the helicopter and rode the bus singing songs all the way home. Do you remember doing that with me?
There are a few things that I am certain about how you will be as an adult; there are a few things that I wonder about your future, and there are many things that I hope you have learned.
I know that you will have many friends. You have a light inside that people are drawn to. I know this not just because I am a proud dad, but because I watch you interact with everyone you meet. You take the time to look people in the eye and say hello. You smile and wave at the people you see, and they smile back at you. Even the grumpy people on the subway that pretend to ignore you eventually fall under your spell by smiling back at you and telling me that you are special. Not only will you have many friends, but you will be an amazing friend to each and every one. Your talent is found in making each person feel special. You have so much love to share, and I know that you will always find someone to share it with. I know that you will be very smart-- smarter than me or your mom. You learn things so quickly that I often feel inadequate in keeping up with your many questions. I know that you have a fantastic smile. Your smile brings a lasting happiness, and I know that it will never fade.
I wonder what sports you will play. Did you decide that you like baseball more than soccer, or have you taken up track because of your endless energy? What college did you decide to go to? I am sure that you had your pick between Princeton and Columbia, but was there another offer? Did you become a Rhodes scholar? What are you studying? What are you reading right now? Do you take your kids to get ice cream cones during evening walks with them? How tall are you? Do you enjoy camping? Has my obsession with Les Miserables inspired you to read Hugo, or did it push you away? Perhaps what I wonder about most is: was I good dad? Did I give you the right balance of love, discipline, and attention? Did we stay friends?
I hope we did.
I hope that you have had your heart broken, but that you have not broken many hearts. I hope that you have moved around a lot and met many people, but that you have a place to call home. I hope you have learned about forgiveness; not for yourself (although that is important), but that you have learned to forgive others. I hope that you don't hold on to the bad things that have happened to you. I hope that you read "Balow, My Boy" and "Soldier and Dog" to your children at night as they cuddle with you in bed. Do you still have that same book I read to you from? I hope that you are safe. I hope that you know that my door and my heart is always open to you.
I love you, son.
ps- you got a funny face!