Tomorrow you become an adult in society’s eyes. In my eyes you will always be my little boy. Precocious, stubborn, challenging, strong-willed, and complex are not strong enough adjectives to describe you. Your first phrase was “by my selch (sic)”. Whether I was taking you to the ER for stitches or rationalizing your quirky tendencies in the classroom, I was always proud to be your father. Raising you was like a parental obstacle course for your mother and I but, we managed to keep you alive. Albeit, it is likely karma for my own youthful insurgence but I would not trade a single moment. While a father never quits worrying about his children, I do not worry about your future. Your work ethic, intellect, resolve, and most importantly your compassion for others will serve you well. Your gifts are abundant and your prospects unbounded. You are maturing ever so rapidly in mind, body, and spirit. I am privileged to see you grow and to have you carry on my name.
Fathers invariably lament about what they wished they had known at your age. I am no exception. These are just a few things I have learned. Never let anyone place limits on what you can achieve including yourself. You have and always will overcome the odds. Yet, be mindful of your worth regardless of what you do or do not achieve. Remember you are loved irrespective of what you do. Your family and others love you because of who you are not what you accomplish. Do not compromise your principles even if it means sacrifice. Treat mistakes as opportunities and forgive yourself for them. Traits that fuel mine and your success are often misunderstood by others and alienate us from those we care about. Finally, the only true currency in life is family. Protect and embrace them above all others. You are part of me and I am part of you. Nothing will ever change that.
Never has a father been so fulfilled by his son. You allowed me to give you a happier childhood than mine and you embraced my qualities and ignored my flaws. You will be a better man than me and that is most a father can ever want. Thank you for being my little boy!