A bit over three years ago I wrote a letter to my then-newborn, your sister Fiona. In it, I shared with this future human my thoughts and feelings of their arrival. They were a mix of anxiety, excitement, fear, and hope.
This time it’s different.
This time I know a bit more about what to expect with a newborn; your sister paved and braved the path. I know that for the first 5-6 months I won’t really enjoy you. Sorry kid, it’s nothing personal, but all I’m expecting from you is excrement and crying, and sometimes simultaneously. Sure, some dads will brag about that “newborn fatherly glow”. But I’m not that father.
What I am, however, is a father that knows that at some point around month 5, you are going to finally look up at me, I’m going to make a funny face, and you will giggle, wiggle, and smile back at me. And possibly still poop and fart, but *I* made you poop and fart *while smiling*, and that will make all the difference to me.
I know that we you are going to be born into a family that really, really looks forward to your arrival — you have 6 grandparents, kid! The biggest issue for your mom and me is dealing with the abundance of gifts you will assuredly receive. Your biggest problem, however, is that you will be wearing and using nearly all of your sister’s gifts. I hope you like pink because your grandparents thought it was good enough for her.
I know that your sister asks about you every day. While in bed she lays on mom’s belly and talks and sings to you; she kisses you. She is your #1 fan — and we hope friend — for life. Now I do have to warn you — she is quite feisty and independent. She has been since the day she came yelling into this world full of spunk and sass. Do not cross her. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I know that I will worry about you every day. Are you healthy? Are you happy? Do you know that you are loved? Do you know that you can talk to me about anything? And I mean anything. See, your daddio has a tad of a tendency to talk about the taboo. That and alliteration — see? Also, notice anything about you and your sister’s name yet, Mr. Finnegan Felfoldi? One day ask us about the Furry Felfoldi Fellowship.
I know that we are going to have so much fun exploring the world together. Let’s make a pact — if you bring the curiosity, I’ll bring the novelty. I’m excited to see where your journey will take you. During that journey, however, I have only Two Rules. They will be enforced strictly. You must:
- Respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person. It’s going to be easy to do that for people that look, act, behave and think like you. It’s going to be harder to do for everyone else.
- Act with equity and compassion in all your interactions. You are fortunate to be the son of one of the most empathetic and compassionate humans you will ever know — your mother. Lean-in to that.
Everything else is pretty much fair game. Get that tattoo that I dislike (after you are out of the house). Message me to pick you up because you drank too much because someone broke your heart. And call me out if I’m not upholding the Two Rules, too. This is a journey we take together. I am going to learn so much from you being your dad; I hope you will be patient with me too, son.
See you in “c-minus” 36 hours.