Look, I have to say something to you. This isn’t going to be easy. To be honest, this is probably going to hurt me more than it will hurt you but this needs to be said.
We need a break.
Look, it isn’t you, it’s me. Get used to that saying, because it won’t be the last time someone says it to you. You might even say it to a stage 5 clinger in the future, more on that when you are older.
I haven’t been the best dad lately. I have been easily frustrated, angered, which would lead to many time-outs. Time-outs that I wish I did not have to give you. There has been an internal struggle with me lately, a fight between something that you do not quite understand that has been interfering with me being a good dad.
I consider myself a photographer. I was lucky enough to have a wife who splurged on a new Canon Rebel XSi when we were newly weds. Which I was very thankful for when we had the Kid almost 3 years ago.
I recently started going through pictures on my computer and quickly discovered that the last time I pulled out my camera, while I was at home and not on vacation, to take pictures of the Kid was in March of this year. I started wondering where all the pictures that I am taking are at?
I am sure that as I was asking myself this question, I received a notification on my phone so I started to mess with my phone. I look up from my phone, which was in the foreground of the computer that I was just working on and say my son playing with his trains. I began thinking, that this would be something to share with all my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I get down and snap a picture with my phone and instantly upload to Instagram to share with the world.
Why ask why? I am sure you are wondering why I am asking this question right? Just the question “Why?” has been very popular in our house lately.
Just the other day I was fixing one of the toilets and the Kid was, I hesitate to say getting in my way and asking me what I was doing. I told him I was fixing the toilet and the first thing out of his mouth was
“Because it is broken.”
A puzzled look came across his face. I could see that he was looking at the toilet and saw nothing wrong with it.
I don’t think I have told you how proud of you I am lately. You are a remarkable toddler who is extremely smart and resilient. Your ability to learn things quickly puts a smile on the face of your mother and myself. Also you pick your self right up after you have fallen and do not let that deter you from doing whatever it is that you were trying to do.
You are already saying your ABC’s and even recognize about 15 letters, the ability to do that makes your mother and myself extremely proud. In the middle of dinner you will all of a sudden just break out in the ABC song and say them all right there for us, serenading us as we eat. You can also already count to 11! You can even recognize the numbers in your number book, which is just simply amazing for your little 2 year-old brain.
There is one thing that you do that makes me, as a father, extremely proud. Your ability to just pick yourself right back up after being bullied. The other day another kid came up behind you as you were playing basketball with your friends and pushed you down on the ground. What amazed me though was that you did not cause a ruckus. You shrugged it off and kept on playing. You were the example. Some dads would be proud if you were to get back up and push the bully back, but not me. You did the right thing and that reassures me that I am being a good dad.
To be honest son, there are times that I feel like I am not doing the best job being a father. In times like this though, it shows me I am doing just fine. When I see you hit a baseball off the tee, throw a baseball the write way, say your ABC’s, and our little secret of being able to say chicken butt to each other without mom knowing. I know that you will turn out just fine and you make your father proud.
You will never know what happened just a day ago in Boston. You will hear about it every year the Boston Marathon ran through the streets. I will do my best to not dwell on what happened. Something tells me that you were aware something was happening, I spent more time with you, I was more patient, and I held you just that much tighter. It is sad that it took something like this happening for me to take a moment to pause to spend time with you.
There was something that legendary anchorman Tom Brokaw (I had to do everything to keep from saying Ron Burgandy, who you will learn more about later in life) said last night during the late news that struck me (I’m sorry I can not remember exactly what he said), but it was something along the lines of his grandchildren and their children will not know the age of innocence and being able to play outside, or go to a sporting event, or going anywhere without fear.
Son, there was a time, when I was a child, when I could just tell your grandmother and grandpa that I was going down the street to play with some friends or at the tree-house just down the street. They were never worried about sexual predators or worried about what was going to happen at school. They were not afraid to let me out of their sights, maybe they were and I just did not see it. Times have changed though.
You might be 15 and I maybe still saying that I need to be outside watching you as you shoot basketball hoops, or dropping you off at school, telling you each time you open the car door saying that I love you in front of your classmates. You will get annoyed at it, I did when your Grandmother did it to me, in fact, I still do. You will get annoyed at the need for me to always know who you are with and whose parents will be there watching you. Son, this is for your own good, and it is because of the people who caused the Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook and Columbine, 9/11, and Oklahoma City that bring these questions and this watchful eye. It is only out of love.
While I am talking a lot about fear, I see hope. I see hope that humanity will change, that times will change once again. I see a time where we do not have to be so fearful. A time when all the good people on this earth have thrown out all the bad people. Not to get all hippie on you, but that is what I see. There is hope son, I can see that hope in your mother’s eyes, I can feel it in my heart, and most importantly, I can see that hope in your eyes. So here is to hoping my son, I love you!