From the Archives: The Letter You Wish Your Father Wrote.

To my son,

When you were born, everything changed. Everything and nothing at the same time. I was a grown man, but the years in my body surpassed the years of wisdom in my mind. I guess, I was still a boy trapped in the cage of an adult. I thought you would save me from my flaws. That the undying, overwhelming love from a parent, would turn all my selfish demons into a sea of dust. I was wrong.

There are things better expressed in writing than in the vulnerable presence of togetherness. It’s odd, really. But some things are too aching to talk about with your son. I wasn’t always there. I know. I missed out on much – important chapters in your life I wish I had a more profound part in. When I look at what you’ve become, I see a man. The man I wished I was, in certain places. Maybe deep down I hoped for a better version of me. It’s selfish, I know. But the man you’ve become fills me with a pride, a pride I cannot express in words.

You must understand, I’m having trouble dealing with the child I’ve lost. The glare of the eyes remain the same throughout life. It’s so hard to shake off the image of my boy in your eyes. When you could fit into my arms, it was so much easier. Now, my wisdom is outdated. I can’t protect you. And sometimes, it hurts. As I grow older, it seems that my heart is penetrating its way through my chest. The armor is thin, and my wrongdoings seems so achingly clear in the light of day.

You might have thought that I didn’t care, didn’t follow your work, but I did… from a comfortable distance. I wanted to talk to you about it, but it was a world that was so strange to me. It’s difficult for your father to seem stupid to his own son. It’s uncharted territory for me. Or maybe, it’s difficult for me to shake off my know-it-all parental role and just be your friend; have a drink together, and listen to you talk without any shred of my own judgment. My love for you limits me to do so. As much as I want to know you, I can’t change. I can’t change, my son. But I try. And fail. And then try again. Maybe, that’s all that matters.

You’re busy with your adult life, you have a kid now. And so the cycle continues. A boy is having a boy. If a thought should go through your head, “What would my father have done?”, do me a favor: rely on your better judgment. I’ve had very little to do with perfecting it, and that’s probably why it’s so far more superior than mine.

I love you. And I’ll continue to watch over you. Whether you like it not…

Always yours, through better and worse
Dad