Dave Booda shares parenting advice from his future son.
I know this is a little premature since I haven’t been conceived yet but there are some things I want you to know. I figure my first 18 years will be so full of eating, sleeping, crying, playing outside, school and chasing girls that I may not have time to get this out, so here it goes.
First of all, I’m in no rush. Having me around is going to be really exciting for you and I’m going to be a lot of work. Your life won’t be over when I arrive, but it’s going to be harder to start that business, travel the world and live on your own terms once I arrive. I want you to live a full and complete life, and although I want you to celebrate my life, I don’t want you to have to live vicariously through me. I don’t want to hear any sadness in your voice when you tell people you can’t go to Vegas because you have a kid. Own your decisions, and make sure you’re ready for me when I come on the scene.
I’m going to demand a lot of money. I’m not just talking about the useless toys I’ll want you to buy, I’m talking about healthcare, food, clothes, and everything else I’ll need to live a normal childhood. No child wants to be a financial burden and even though I know you’ll work hard to give me everything I need, if you have to suffer to afford me, we’re both going to feel it. I don’t plan on making money and when I do I plan on keeping it. On that note, I want you to know that as much as I appreciate you raising me and being awesome parents, I’m not going to carry the belief that I owe you anything. Please no guilt trips!
I have some requests when it comes to my Mom. First let me say that I appreciate your efforts in birth control so far. This is a really important decision and I’d rather not leave it up to chance. Choosing my Mom is the most important decision of my life, remember that. If you do the work now and find an awesome woman, both of our lives will be a lot easier. I also want you to be there for me, which means don’t get a woman pregnant unless you plan on sticking around. Mothers can do an awesome job raising kids by themselves but I want a Dad too, especially since I’ll want other male influences in my life. As for Mom, I want a Mother who is kind but strong. Not strong as in she can beat up people, but strong in her heart. I know your Mom taught you the power of conviction. It’s so important. I also would love it if Mom understands that as guys, you and I are going to need some father-son time, and not just once a year on a camping trip. There are a lot of man-skills I need to learn and Mom isn’t going to be able to teach me that stuff. Sometimes you’re going to know what’s best for me, and I want her to trust you enough to make that decision as a man.
My career choice is going to be really important. I’ll start by saying I have no clue what I’ll want to do, and I want you to be okay with that. The more expectations you have for me the harder it will be for me to find out what I love to do. I know making money is important, but please don’t use that as a measure of how successful I am, because I don’t want that belief either. Encourage me to pursue my weird interests, even if everyone at school thinks it’s silly. I may even test you and Mom sometimes by saying I want to do wacky things, just to see if you’ll still accept me. That’s just my childish way of checking to see if you really love me.
The most important thing I want you to know is how capable and resourceful I am. Sure I’m going to need help changing my diaper and finishing my homework at times, but underneath all that is a boy who can change the world. Let me fail sometimes, I need to learn some lessons the hard way. I want you to be the one who always believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself. The hardest thing to do is not step in and help your child when they are struggling but if you really believe that I am powerful, sometimes it’s going to mean letting me figure things out on my own.
I also want you to know that I love you, and when you get old, I’ll be there for you no matter what, even if you’re grouchy or wearing adult diapers. Being a Dad is a tough job, and without you, I wouldn’t have a chance.
Lots of Love,
Previously published on Male Blueprint.
Photo — henriphotography/flikr