Dear Son – since you were born, you have changed my perception of boys. Until I had you, I didn’t know much about raising a little dude. I only knew, because of your daddy, that all men are just a 16 year old boy trapped in a man’s body. Dare to disagree and I will show you the Ford Mustang in our garage, the old Van Halen and Def Leppard cassettes collecting dust, and the Mike Tyson’s Punch Out game played every night on his Nintendo. I half expect to come home to a Heather Locklear poster on our bedroom wall one day. Wait. I completely got off topic. Advice for you, my son, should begin with “Don’t be as flighty as your mother”.
Don’t be a jerk. The world has enough of them already. And they all seem to like to run for President of the United States. Zing! My hope is I have raised you in a kind and loving manner so that you will go out into the world in a kind and loving manner. And please keep your finger out of your nose.
Don’t go on a reality show to find love. As much as your mom and dad enjoy watching the train wreck known as The Bachelor, this is not the ideal environment to find your mate. Yes, it makes for good entertainment when it’s other people. I hope God has different plans for you to find your true love whether it’s at work, at church, or at Hooters. Any of those places would be better than a TV show.
Don’t get addicted to a weekly paycheck. This advice comes from one of your mom’s regrets: living off the corporate teat. Once you get used to a regular paycheck, it becomes like a drug. One day you awake from that drug-addicted haze and realize all your ideas and all your hard work are serving to make someone else rich. But now your paycheck is to you like what the best cocaine from Columbia is to an addict. You can’t stop because you have a family to support, a mortgage to pay, and college to save for. No matter what you choose to do son, have a side gig, something to fall back on. A trade, a skill, a creative outlet. Because one day that corporate job will kick you in the teeth.
Live with no regrets. How can I give you this advice when I just stated in #3 one of my regrets? Do as I say, not as I do, that’s how. Don’t wait until you’re old to have a bucket list. Go do those things. Now. Have stories you won’t share with me until you’re much older and I can’t punish you for them. All I ask is that they don’t involve anything illegal. Eat that slice of cake, ask her out, go on that vacation, buy the upgrade, use the good china. Live. Love. Today.
Be you. This world will try to change you. It will try to tell you who you should be. Don’t listen to the garbage. Be you. It’s the only you you’ve got. Unless your ‘you’ is a jerk. In which case refer to #1.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart. Nothing further needs to be said, especially if I raised you to love Him.
If you don’t take any of the above advice know this: your mom and dad love you so very much. You have made us proud in everything you’ve done. I hope for you all the very best that this world has to offer. If you ever feel scared, defeated, alone, you are always welcome to come home. Your dad will still be on the couch, playing Mike Tyson’s Punchout and listening to Def Leppard on his boombox.