September 10, 2005

18 Already?

Dear Son,

Happy eighteenth birthday! Congratulations on reaching this historic milestone in your life. It is with great pleasure and sadness that this day comes. The sadness is in the death of your childhood and the pleasure in the birth of your adulthood.

Through our years together I have witnessed a remarkable transformation from an infant to childhood and from a child into a beautiful young man. I hope that you cherish this day and remember that it is but a small step on your journey of life.

It seems like only a brief moment in time ago when I held you in my arms and witnessed a true miracle on earth. Your life and mine have forever been intertwined since that day. I entered a phase of manhood that I hope you can enjoy and appreciate as much as I did.

I can recall the time long ago that I stood in your place with the whole world spread about me like a giant playground. I can honestly say that I have few regrets in my chosen path and you are evidence of one of the best decisions I ever made.

Your mother and I have enjoyed a successful marriage in the sense that we took our hard times with determination and celebrated our success with satisfaction of a job well done. My greatest wish is that you find a partner as wonderful as your mother. If you can hold onto a friend as genuine as her you will truly be blessed.

We have not always seen eye to eye and this has grown more apparent with your maturity. I see this as a positive sign of your growing independence and self reliance. My job as your father is to prepare you for the world beyond your mother and I. In this regard I believe that you are on the right path.

I had hoped to only expose you to all the good traits that I inherited from my parents and shield you from the things that were detrimental. That was an impossible task that no man could possibly achieve . Please take those things in me that you find useful and fight those demons that I have genetically predisposed on you.

I want you to know that from this day forward we will be forever moving apart. This in and of itself does not need to be as ominous as it sounds. It is a natural transformation from the father-child relationship into father-son relationship.

The bonds of family will continue to bind our heritage and futures until I pass from this world. Your perception of me will change dramatically over time. Mine of you however will not. I have been in the place that you are headed. I have experienced the triumph and tragedy that the relentless march of time forces upon us. You will understand this when you have reached that time in your life when events bring reflection and clarity.

It is interesting place that we have arrived at. You at the beginning and me at a crossroad. I never could imagine a day that I would have a son of eighteen. In the blink of an eye it has arrived. Time has an interesting way of forever changing its cadence. There are times when it seems to drag on at a snails pace and then accelerate to the speed of light.

I know that at times I have been both demanding and hard, please understand that parenthood comes with no manual or recipe. I think that we have raised a child that has successfully made the transition into adulthood in spite of our failures and shortcomings. This is a lesson that only you as a parent will understand.

Last but not least I want you to understand the most important part of this letter. Your mother and I love you very much and will be there to help you through the continuing phases of your life. We will be the port in your storms, the laughter in good times, and the shoulder in bad. As long you will allow we will always be your mother and father in whatever capacity you require.

I do not make that offer lightly, it is with the understanding and knowledge that we have done our very best to make you the outstanding young man that you are. I can say without reservation that we will enjoy watching your future unfold in front of you with all the promise and prosperity that you rightfully deserve.

I believe in you.

Love, Dad

Posted by BillyBudd at September 10, 2005 01:49 AM | TrackBack

Oh sheesh! Boo hoo hoo! What a wonderful letter. You sound very proud of your son. This brought back the memory of my oldest boy's 18th. We had a big party celebrating his birthday, high school graduation and entrance into the Navy. It seemed that he grew up in an instant, and then he was gone. Where does the time go?

Posted by: Patty-Jo at September 10, 2005 02:00 AM

So, what plans does he have for the future?

Posted by: Cowboy Blob at September 10, 2005 08:57 AM

Blob, he will finish school then become a Wingnut such as yourself.

Posted by: Billy Budd at September 10, 2005 09:08 AM

Happy Birthday to your son :-)
I hope he has a great day !!
When I turned 18 ( a few years back lol ), the Manager of the pub asked "what's the occasion?", then had a dumfounded look when answered and said , "You've been a local in here for 3 years !"
May your son enjoy his first legal beer in 3 years time :-)

Posted by: dom at September 10, 2005 01:28 PM

Reading your letter to your son shows me what a true father-son relationship should be. You are an incredible dad. No wonder your son has turned out so fine.
I think it is absolutely wonderful that you could/would write such a precious letter to him.

Posted by: Mountain Mama at September 10, 2005 10:36 PM

Beautiful letter. Congrats to your son. You both are very lucky men.

Posted by: Cary at September 11, 2005 08:08 PM
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