an open letter to my (hypothetical) future son
I’m your dad.
Man, have YOU lucked out!
(I really hope you have my sense of humour.)
I am going to do my best to be one of those dads who lets their kids figure out who they are. (You know, except for sports. You ARE a Blue Jays fan.)
While I fully expect to remind you of all of these every chance I get, I thought I’d make a list of things I think are very important. Things that I feel will help you become the kind of person I know you’re going to be.
– Be a man, not a guy
– Kindness does not equal weakness
– Defend those who can’t defend themselves. Always.
– Hurtful words stay with the recipient much much longer than with the speaker.
– Don’t do things to impress your friends. They’re mostly morons. Some will grow out of it, but fewer than you’d expect.
– Real peers don’t put pressure.
– Being cool is vastly overrated
– She’s a person. Repeat that for me. She’s a person.
– “Numbers” are for accountants
– Anything less than a RESOUNDING “yes” means no.
– When a woman chooses you, don’t ever take it for granted.
– They can tell when you’re staring
– Hold doors open. For everyone.
– Always make sure your date is walking on the side furthest from traffic
– If you look around and don’t see a sober driver… it’s you.
– If that ship has already sailed, call me.
– Listen to The Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.
– Listen also to The Tragically Hip, Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot.
– So much can be gained from being involved in the arts.
– So much can be gained from being involved in sports too.
– If you dry between your toes well, you’ll be less likely to get athlete’s foot.
– When you can afford it, tip 20%.
– Have your sister’s back, but try not to get in her face. Too much.
– Never take sides against the family
– Listen to praise and criticism equally, but don’t put too much stock in either.
– Be curious, but with focus
– Be determined, but with a sense of humour
– No task is beneath you.
– No accomplishment is beyond you.
– You decide who you’re going to be. Don’t let the world try to decide for you.
I’ll do my very best to lead by example, but I’ll always answer any questions you have.
Some of these things I learned from watching. Some I learned from listening.
And some I learned the hard way.
You will too.
But if you stumble, I’ll help you up.
I’m always going to love you.
Kid, I really hope I do as good a job being a dad as you deserve.
I was lucky enough to learn from a good one.
I hope someday you’ll say the same thing.