Last month I celebrated my 39th birthday....let me ponder on that for a moment....ok, let's go. I celebrated my birthday on the weekend of my sister's wedding (wedding was the 18th, my birthday was the 19th) and it was kind of like an afterthought. As we were getting ready to leave the wedding reception later on that night, my older sister looks at me and goes "V! It's your birthday today!" and I was like "Yeah."
Now, I do not want to sound like I do not like birthdays, but there is just something about them that is not the same for me anymore. When I was a kid it was all about the birthday parties and gifts. As I got older, it was about hanging out all night with my friends enjoying the bars.
Nowadays, it's just another day for me. I wake up, read a card or two, get some birthday messages from family and friends, go about my daily errands and then maybe have some cake.
This year was a little different. The difference this year was that I really thought a lot about my kids and what kind of parent I am going to be for them. So I decided I was going to write them a letter. Here it goes:
I know you're both probably looking at the picture of your old man above and thinking "What is he smiling about?"
The answer is simple; I'm smiling because I have you two in my life.
Every day that goes by I am thankful for every moment that we spend together. You two make me laugh, make me cry and make me want to scream my head off sometimes. That's right, you two were no angels, but there were days that you two were heaven sent. I know that sounds kind of lame.
I hope that when you read this, you are both doing what you love in life. S, I know that you were always into helping others and dancing, so I hope you are still doing that.
Little man, you were always eating and climbing around the house, so I guess you're probably a chef or doing parkour somewhere.
Now, why am I writing this to you when I could easily tell you these things? Well, it's because I want them to be recorded somewhere, so you can always go back and read it.
Your dad was a hardworking man and I learned that from my father, your Pupappa. He always told me to work hard for what you want and to not give up.
I think I pretty much lived up to that. I always went above and beyond to make sure that you two and your mother were always taken cared of.
I want you to instill that mentality in your daily lives; work hard, don't give up and always do your best.
Do not rely on others. I know this sounds kind of selfish, but what is important to you will not always be important to others. Try to do as much as you can on your own, but it's ok to ask for help. A lone builder can not build a bridge without some help. (Ok, I'm not that good with analogies).
If you remember, your dad was always calm and thought things through. I want you to be like that. I want you to carefully think about what is making you angry or frustrating you before you blow up and start losing your cool. Trust me, if you do not get a handle on this, you will end up saying or doing something that you will regret and can never take back.
One day your dad got into an argument with someone online and this person tried to humiliate your father. Instead of losing my cool and going off on the person, I used my words in a way that proved my point while also shaming the person for what they were doing. This person responded that I should go back to my dad group and try to attain some fame, like some of the other dads have done. My reply "I'm not in this for the notoriety, I just want to write about my kids."
You know, the blog your dad wrote was a labor of love. There were many nights that I stayed up late writing reviews, giveaways and some, what I thought, were thoughtful insights about being a dad. I would write up these things and even though they were not always read by family or friends, I realized that I wrote these things for you.
The blog, minus the reviews and giveaways, is more of a journal for you to see how your father reacted to being a dad. How I had ups and downs during my life and how I overcame them. It's about how your dad tried to be an example, not only to you two, but also to the students that he taught.
I want this blog to be your virtual photo book about your dad. You can go back and relive some moments that we shared together and maybe share some of my posts with your kids one day.
I know that I probably was not the perfect father for you two, but I hope I was, like S would say "The best dad I ever had." Only time will tell what type of dad I will become.
If anything, what I want you to get from this letter is that I love you two with all my heart and I feel so grateful that I was your father. I hope that I embedded in your minds how happy I was and that you two were always loved by your parents.
Thanks for reading.