Saturday, February 26, 2011
Dear Brad - A Letter to My Graduating Son
My seventeen year old son, Brad, is a senior this year. His English teacher gave an assignment to the parents. Write your child a letter as he/she gets ready to graduate and embark on an independent life. We were to give them advice. The following is the letter I wrote to Bradley:
February 16, 2011
It has sped by with lightning speed. Not just senior year, but your whole life so far. Only yesterday you were sitting in front of the television, glued to the images of Barney singing and dancing. You wore out two Woody costumes, boots and all, playing "Toy Story". As Luke Skywalker, you sped to the edges of the galaxy in your spaceship, battling against evil with your lightsaber.
Throughout the years, your imagination has taken you to new worlds filled with adventure. Now as you start a new journey to a new world filled with new adventures, I want to remind you of a few things you have learned along the way. Take these with you into your new life.
Stay true to yourself
The young man you have become is exactly who you were supposed to become. Know what you want and go for it, despite what anyone else says, including me!
Be good to yourself
You are strong, funny, and honest. Never stray from those qualities. Taking care of yourself and being good to yourself helps you be good to others.
Be good to others
Your amazing and kind heart is what draws people to you. For years, people have spoken of your kindness and politeness. Treat people well and they will treat you well. And if they don't, then you've at least done the right thing.
When in question, wait
Sometimes you aren't going to know what to do. Sometimes after you've asked ten people for advice you still won't know what to do. When this happens, just wait. Wait. Ask for the answers and they will come. Ask God. Ask the Universe. Ask your shoe. It doesn't matter. The answers will come.
Everything will be ok
When you feel as if your world is crashing around you and things couldn't possibly get worse, know that yes, they can get worse. But...know that everything will be ok. Nothing will last forever - not heartache, not problems, not your six-pack abs.
I'm here for you
I have raised you to be a strong, independent young man ready to venture out on his own after high school. And as much as I am looking forward to seeing you spread your wings and enjoy your independence, I know you will fall from time to time. When you do, know that I am here for you. I will always be here for you. Even if you do something stupid and go to jail, I will be here for you. I'll let you stay in jail to learn your lesson, but I will be here for you. :)
Seriously, we learn our lessons by making mistakes. You will make mistakes, small ones and big ones, stupid ones. But through all of them, I will be here for you. Most of the time it will be to reminisce about the times I made the same mistakes.
I love you
Even when I get frustrated with you and you are driving me up the wall, always know that I love you. Always have. Always will.
Bradley, you have an incredible life ahead of you. It is YOUR life. You make your life whatever you want it to be. I am so very proud of you and everything you've done so far.
As the song in the book goes....
I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be
I love you....more than you can possibly know.