Monday, April 14, 2014

An Open Letter to my Son


You’re not a man yet, but you’re getting very big.  Right now your only 3, but by the time you read this you’ll be 8 and able to read it on your own.  I’ll try not to use words that are too big for you. 

As a three year old, you've become quite opinionated and VERY independent.  I don’t want to get to side tracked, but you, sir, have a temper.  Quick to temper, quick to calm down and already certain that you have this whole life thing down.  Have some patience with your old man…I do my best.

In case you've forgotten, at the time of this writing you still hadn't met your sister.  You've always been very empathetic, and I am excited to see you take care of her.  I’m sure by now, I have told you this many times, but your senior year in HS will be her first year of HS.  Make sure you keep an eye on her. 

Anyway, it’s not your sister I wanted to talk to you about.  It’s a confession.

Do you remember the balloon you got last week? (As in 3 year old you) You got it at a birthday party for one of your friends.  It even had your name on it.  Your big brother got one as well.  Those were fun weren't they?  Your brothers popped the second day, but yours hung on.  I kept expecting it to pop, but as it survived into the 5th day I began to wonder if it was made from some special balloon material. 

You sat on it, it went past the stove a couple of times, you threw it at the dogs, but nothing seemed to pop this balloon.  As each day of its survival past, you wanted to share it with your brother less and less.  I think it became a symbol to you.  Something you finally had that he did not, and you would rather have it sit on the bookshelf, than share it with your brother.

Oh the fighting!  You would scream, your brother would scream, and I cried in the corner.  Many many tears, just wishing the damn balloon would pop, and we could move on to the next argument.  All the while I was preparing for the gushing of tears that would come when it finally met its maker.

This is going to be hard to hear, but I have had this on my chest for so long I NEED you to know.

I popped it.  

Whew, that feels better.  Yep while you slept, I took a pair of scissors and relieved 5 days’ worth of stress.  You know what?  It felt good!

At the time I even questioned my decision. 

You screamed.  A lot. 

I had managed to keep you distracted from it for a while.  You mentioned it as soon as you woke up, but I told you we had to get your brother to school.  You mentioned it again when we got home, and again after you stopped playing with your Legos, and again, and again. At one point I even helped you look for it, and told you, ‘You should put your toys away better, so you don’t lose them.’  Finally, backed into a corner I did what any father would do.  I blamed it on the dogs.

After what seemed to be an eternity of crying, I finally helped you calm down with my sage fatherly advice.
“Son, there will be lots of balloons in your life.  They will come and go many times.  It’s important to remember the good times you had with the balloon.  Do you want a cookie?”  OK, maybe it was the cookie, not my advice.


You don’t remember?

In that case never mind.  I must have been thinking about your brother…Yeah your brother that’s it. What a silly letter this is, you should just go ahead and delete it or something.

Why don’t we go outside and we can kick the soccer ball together.

Your loving and always supportive Father who never threw out/broke any of your toys…ever

P.S. Your mother threw out your drum set when you were two. 

1 comment:

  1. A balloon popping as metaphor for life's inevitable disappointments is brilliant. Your son will undoubtedly appreciate this.