Your mom and I were expecting you in 2012, but you proved that you don’t like to wait around. I don’t know if this is foreshadowing to a future where you need to be 30 minutes early to baseball practice and waiting in a mile long line to be one of the first to own a new game console. But I do know you caught your parents unprepared and made December 26th, 2011 rather crazy. I joke with your mom that we must have had way too much fun on Christmas, because you didn’t want to miss out on any more parties.
You may have made December 26th an extra hectic day, but you also have now made it one of the most wonderful days ever. Because December 26th will always be known as the day the most magnificent belated Christmas gift entered my life. It was the day I became a father, and I finally met you.
One of the most magical and spiritual moments of my life was when I held you for the very first time. My stomach was filled with fairies (because they’re more magical than butterflies) and my body was full of energy that could soar over every mountain in the world. I’ve been to concerts that filled me with euphoria; I felt amazing when I sold my first article; I felt incredible when I graduated from University; none of those feelings came even close to the first time I held you. The only feeling that could compare would be the day I married your mom. I love your mom more than anyone could imagine, and this love was the reason we decided to have you. Everett, you’ve now filled our family with even more love.
You’ve fit into this family well. Summit the dog likes to sniff your head and check up on you when you cry. Crosby the cat doesn’t pay much attention, but he’ll love you when you’re old enough to feed him. Your grandparents call you a little treasure and want to hold you any chance they can get. You have aunts and uncles that are very proud to be able to welcome you into the extended family. You’ve entered into a world where you’re loved, both by humans and pets. I know you’re really going to feel welcomed here and you’ll have a great time.
I love you, Everett. You probably already got that from the feel of this letter, because you’re a smart little man. I knew I loved you the instant I held you in my arms. I’d only known you as this little organism that occasionally gave me “high fives” from your mommy’s belly, but I felt a connection to you the moment I held you. It was that instant that I told you that I was always going to support you, always going to protect you, and always going to love you. I promised these things, because you’re part of my family. My son.
In my promise to support and protect you, I know sometimes I might upset you. Actually, I am sure sometimes you might even make me a little upset. Actually, it already happens when you plant messy fury right after I just cleaned up your diaper, and then you deliver another “present” right after that next cleaning. I don’t get too upset, because I know you don’t do it on purpose. When you get older, I might do some things that will get you mad, because you don’t like the rules or feel you’re being unfairly punished. Everything I do for you is done out of love. I make the decisions or rules because I want to protect, support and teach. You will be able to challenge me on that too. Any time I do something that upsets you, then you can ask me, “Dad, are you doing this out love?” You may not like it and you may not understand it, but hopefully, you’ll find out I always do it because I love you.
I look forward to getting to know you for many, many, many decades. You’ve got a long life ahead of you. I want to be there for a large portion of it. I want to be able to teach you many things. I want to broaden your world view, and show you all the different beliefs, cultures and histories across the globe. I also want you to reach your fullest potential, but I want to make sure it is YOUR potential. Your mommy and daddy have lots of plans and high hopes, but I want to make sure you find the things that you love and you’re gifted to do. We might think we want an Olympic athlete or a concert pianist or a best-selling novelist, but in the end, we just want you to follow what you love.
I use the word “love” a lot don’t I? It is an easy word to say. But it only has any value if you act it out. I work very hard to make sure I act out love every single day. I want this family to be full of love. When I look at you it makes it easier to remember how important it is to love. I love you when you’re quietly sleeping in my arms, but I also love you when you wake me up with your cries at 4:00 in the morning (though you do it to mommy a lot more than me). You’ve given me a kind of love that doesn’t go away even when I’m frustrated or angry. This kind of love reminds me to share it with all the people around me. I want to carry this love with me my entire life.
Welcome to the world, Everett. It is a pretty crazy place, but it also can be a beautiful place. I look forward to teaching you about it, and also showing you all the amazing places in this world. I’m not in any rush though. I am happy to just hold and sing to you for now.
I love you (there's that word again),