I saw you last in August; less than five weeks and your body has changed to be even more man-like; how can that happen? I know you have been saying you are a man for the last year and I have agreed with you and now you really show it. You amaze me.
To know your birthday is a week away is a further revelation. To know you set a new PR with your sport is another. This year is proving to be as exciting as I remembered with your mother. Senior year goes by so very fast. Your goals are being accomplished all at once it seems; but I remember. I remember all the hard work, dedication and objectives needed to reach this stage and age. Even when I do not tell you, I have seen all that you have done to get to this place. Thank you for sharing your life with me.
When that “true” birthday comes; I want you to know I have loved you since before you were born. I love in a way like no other. My eyes fill with tears as I think about all the many things we have enjoyed together and the other events of life to come this year and beyond. What a companion you are to me. On my darkest days, I pick myself up, dust off my shoes and begin walking again because I can see your face so clearly.
When you are an old man or a middle-aged man and I am no longer with you on this earthly realm; remember how I loved you. There will be stories to undergird this truth and I may tell them to you or write them; I have not decided. What I do plan to do to the best of my ability is to do what I can do to give you a good start in life. For me, that means support for your parents especially your mother. For me, it means giving up the past and focusing on the future. For me, it also means warning you that people do not change much in their lifetimes and you will not know this for years to come. My hope and prayer is that you will take care of yourself in the meantime as you grow up.
I want to tell you about some personal characteristics I see which I admire: one, your ability to hold your own with your peers and be a leader, your wit (even when it is at my expense), your sense of fairness and love of our Mother Earth and your willingness to be by my side and seemingly not embarrassed to be seen with your elder. Secondly, the fire in your belly, which I think most people do not see; and I attribute just a tiny bit to being a part of me. The me who was never quite satisfied, who did not want just to be a secretary, or a wife, or even have one degree but who still strives to be at the top of the mountain because, as you know, that is where the view is the most beautiful. Thirdly, while I think I know your genetic makeup pretty well; I agree with your mother, it is nurture which has been and will continue to be just as important to you personally as nature. Biology gave you length, determination gives you strength. Your DNA made you tall, your integrity makes you large in life as well as in my heart. And lastly, even though your parents disagree with me, I think you do have an obligation to your family. I will modify it and say you will discover it as you grow older and it may very well be to the family you procreate which will be your penultimate lifetime achievement; it certainly has been for me.
So, when I say I love you; I mean I am committed to your welfare, both now and in the future. I have concentrated on helping you to “fish” so you can feed yourself. I hope you know that I know you can do it and I will always watch with interest to see how and in what fashion you choose. I also have a good idea you will try your best not to have your lifestyle set by others’ values but already have your own. Your code may have to be modified a little but I think like your mother and me, it will not change much. It will be the thread which runs through your life; a gold ball you will need to follow wherever it may lead.
While I wax eloquent on this time in your life, know I wrote it with tears in my eyes and I love you so very much.