I wanted to write this for some time now talking to you about marriage and kids! I want you to know that there are alternatives to being married and having kids. As we grow we see marriages, children and white picket fences everywhere from our own families, to friends, in movies, in TV… Literally everywhere! It’s instilled in us at a very young age.
I want you to know it’s ok if these are not things that you want in life! It’s ok if you do not want to marry or have children! I am not saying that I wouldn’t love for you to find the love of your life or have amazing grand kids for me to play with, but I don’t believe we were all meant to be married and have children and the pressure created by our culture to have a family is crazy! If you do get married, it’s because that’s what you want and that’s all that matters!
Something that no one tells you is there are alternatives to life other than settling down, marrying, having children and living in the same house with the white picket fence for the next 25-30 years. Life is about experiences, not what society has made us think what a life well lived is. People are placed in our lives to teach us, to help us grow, and to live life with us as I have been put in to yours.
There are things you can do like travel the world, Spend time with friends, live where you want to, do whatever you want to when you want! Now I am not saying this to discourage you at all! I just want you to know that I am not expecting anything from you except your happiness! I just want you to know that there are alternatives to life and don’t fold if it’s not what you want!
This is the first morning of 2016 and I thought I would write you a letter. Being the eldest of the three of you I cannot believe in a short time you will be seventeen! What a journey we have had so far! I won’t get in to reminiscing of your childhood in this letter, but all the milestones that will happen this year for you.
Sometimes I look at you in amazement at what a wonderful young man you have become. even though there are times that we probably want to strangle each other as you struggle between still being a kid and growing up (which so you know is a struggle for us both as it’s hard for me as a dad to let you leave your childhood behind, I do however understand that you becoming an adult is inevitable).
You have become a caring, loving, responsible and understanding young man (not all the time, but most of the time and that’s good enough for me). You have a big heart and a zest for life. I see you doing big things with your life.
Soon you will be turning 17 and that in itself is a huge milestone (yay you made another year without hurting yourself to badly or killing yourself) as you can be a bit accident prone at times. As you turn 17 this year that means you can now get your drivers license (hopefully after you get your license I can say “yay” again next year as I did above).
This year we will see you move in to your final year of high school (grade 12) and soon we will be preparing your University applications (as I wrote that I had to take a deep breath) I cannot believe you are almost there. Where did the last 17 years go? Weren’t you just a baby in my arms yesterday?
These three milestones happening to you this year will be enough for me for sure. I am still having a hard time letting go. I will say though I am still so happy that you haven’t outgrown saying “love you dad” or outgrown giving me a hug or outgrown talking to me when you need to talk to someone and I hope you never do outgrow these as I will always be here for any of them.
It’s going to be an amazing, crazy year for us Ryley! As we slip in to the new year I want you to always remember I love you and will always be here for you and whatever you need i will do my best to help you! Happy New Year son
As 2015 comes to a close I am reminiscent about all that has happened and how much the three of you have grown. As I sit here writing this I can’t help but remember each one of you as babies and what a journey it’s been.
I am thankful to be the dad of such 3 beautiful children and count my blessings everyday for all the time we get to spend together and the fact that even though you are at an age that most teens want to spend their time out with friends you prefer to spend most of your time with me.
I treasure my time with you as I know that each of you are growing and need to spread your wings and find your way in this world, but I take great comfort in knowing that when the world gets to be too much you find comfort at home.
The last year has been a bit hard I know (I won’t get in to details), but I have a feeling that this year will be a great year for you now that things have settled down and we were able to enjoy Christmas.
Most of all I want to tell you three that I am proud of you and all the accomplishments you had this last year. You three are what makes me wake up early every morning and drives me to be a better person and a better parent as I know that as you evolve I have to also.
Someday you will understand the depth of my love for you three! It may take you until you have children of your own, but one day you will understand all the emotions and strength that you give me.
As we start 2016 I promise to never stop wanting the best for you three. I promise to keep working on myself not only as a person, but as your dad. I promise to always be there for you. I promise I will never give up on any of you (even though sometimes I may feel like throwing my hands up, wave the white flag and surrender). Most of all I promise to never stop loving you!
Happy New Year and I wish you all the very best for 2016 (Let’s make this the best year yet)
Here we are just hours away before you start Kindergarten and the new chapter of our lives begins. You woke up so early full of nerves and anxious knowing you are starting school. You have worries that you do not know anyone in your class and you have no friends there. We have gone through a bit of an emotional time together as we have both prepared for this day.
I know today as I take you to your class and you disappear behind a closed door and I have to walk away I will most likely be overcome with emotion. It’s the end of an era and the start of a new one. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago I had held you in my arms for the first time and I fell madly in love with you, but it has been almost 5 and a half years now and I know from experience that the next 5 will seem to go even quicker.
There is a lot I will miss about it being home with you all day everyday. I will miss having you chat at me from the backseat as we run about doing errands. I will miss having you sit at the end of the dining room table while I work away and have you tell me your stories. I will miss our time running off to the park for an hour when the sun comes out from behind the clouds.
I do however take comfort knowing that when the school day ends you will be back in your seat after I pick you up from school and I will once again take comfort in hearing your little voice tell me about your adventures at school. It is hard as your dad to watch you grow and move on doing different things in life and spending a little less time each day with you, but each night I know that I will still get to tuck you in to your bed and tell you “I love you” and “I am proud to be your dad”! I hope you have a wonderful first day and don’t worry you will make a lot of new friends.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life. The moments of happiness, moments of sadness, moments of hardship, moments of love, moments of satisfaction, moments of reflection, all the moments in your memory from birth to this present moment.
Moments that have defined and brought us to where we are today. Moments where we went left instead of right and moments when we went right instead of left. Moments that brought shear happiness and moments that brought shear heartbreak.
These moments we treasure and remember happy or sad we carry with us and they will never fade, they will never go away, they will always be in our minds and our hearts. These moments can still define us now in this moment simply by guiding our new moments.
If it is a happy moment and we had a similar moment years ago chances are we will take the new moment and make it a new happy moment in our life.
If it is a horrible moment and we had a similar one years ago and we went left instead of right and things got worse chances are we will go right instead of left hoping that going right will be less painful.
There are moments though that will never change going left or going right. The only thing you can do is choose and make a path straight ahead where there is no path. You have to make your own path as there is no right or wrong path for that moment. There is only you and your decision to make the moment.
All I know for sure is the moments in your life define you up until this very moment and every moment after this will define you. At the end of your life you don’t want to be thinking about something or someone and wish you would have made another decision at the time instead of the moment you chose.
Choose your moments as each second that passes is a new one!
I want you to be a better than me! I want you to take the things from me that you like about me and keep them if you like, but be a better person than me! Some of the things that are important to me is that you make better decisions, set better examples and have more patience.
I have written many letters to you three, but this may be the one I want you to take to heart the most.
Tell the truth – Now I am not just talking about lying. You can also not be telling the truth by simply not saying anything. This is a hard lesson to learn, because there are times you just don’t want to say anything and keep quiet. The truth of that is not saying anything can be as bad as telling a lie even if it will hurt someone else it will hurt more if it comes out and it wasn’t from you.
Be patient – They say patience is a virtue and it truly is. Although I know I can be very impatient and on edge at times I try hard and it’s a battle that rages within. Take words and situations with a grain of salt and do not expect immediate results. Sometimes the best things in life are well worth waiting for.
Speak up – Do not hide your voice! I have raised you to use your words and speak to be heard. Even though I may not practice this myself with everyone and I prefer to keep quiet and get on with things, this isn’t what I want for you. Things that you need to say and don’t will eat you up inside and change you as a person, change relationships sometimes it can change everything you feel inside depending on the extent of what you keep quiet about.
Love is such a pure emotion and so hard to describe what it is? How you feel? I will tell you that it is the most amazing feeling though. It’s like you are lost, but found at the same time. Your world is rocked by emotions you never felt before. It’s like being reborn and learning to walk, to speak, to live again.
You feel like life is just starting finally and everything up to that point was to just get you ready for the most amazing chapter of your life to begin. Every breath you have taken, every tear shed, every smile given, every angry moment up till then has led you here now and your head spins with emotion.
Your walls that protect you and your emotions will be torn down and you will be so scared of letting this person close to you, but completely excited all at once to know that there is one person that can make you feel so vulnerable, so naked emotionally.
You will want to run to the highest peak at one point and scream how in love you are and there will be times when you just want to hide away because the emotion is to much. The overwhelming feeling of love is amazing as it warms your body and soul when you think of this person you are in love with. The way you want to spend all your waking moments with them. The dreams you want to tell them that no one else knows and you know that you have found your true love and soul mate when you share your deepest darkest secrets with them and you are not scared of what they will say.
This person will be your everything you need in life in one person. Love is life changing and you will never ever be the same. You can try and get on with life if you lose them, but you will always have a hole inside of you that will just grow bigger. RL
A soul mate is the most amazing person that will ever walk in to your life! It’s not just a piece of another persons soul that fits like a piece of a puzzle, it’s the complete soul that fits! When you meet your soul mate nothing will ever be the same, you will change forever. When you first look in to the eyes of that person, you will see things that you never thought you could see in someones eyes. You will see their happiness, their pain, their sorrow, what they are scared of just everything and they will see yours too!
When you do find your soul mate, time will stand still and you will lose hours, days, weeks, months and years lost in them. These two souls when they meet it’s like they had been destined, waiting for each other for millennia to meet. the connection will be so strong between you and them that your emotions will rule over all else.
That’s just to start! After you meet you smile at each other and you start talking that’s where the magic begins. The most amazing feelings will come through you, you will question everything in life. You will wonder how you ever lived with out them in your life before meeting them. The complete love and adoration you will feel for this person will trump everything you have in you. Your soul will bleed for them.
You will be scared, terrified to be honest at first. You may want to run away, but here’s the thing you can’t! You can’t run from this person because you have now met them. they are not just a piece of your heart out there in this great big world. They are a complete heart of yours. Once you meet you there is nothing that can stop what you feel. If you let them go because your to scared you will never be happy again inside.
Do not ever let them go! Hold them close to you, love them, cherish every single moment with them. Kiss them with passion, laugh with them, hold their hand and always look in to their eyes. This will be the most deep connection of your life. It will be like a dream come to life. Everything you imagined a relationship should be. Whether it’s running across a sandy tropical beach, shopping and eating in Italy by candle light, cooking together while you chat and have a glass of wine or just simply sitting on the sofa on a Saturday night sharing a bottle of wine and having music playing in the background talking the night away. Hold on to them till the day they have to leave this earth and love them fiercely, completely with your whole heart!
I know there have been a load of “rules for dating my son” and I thought why not instead write to you about dating and my advice to you on dating. It’s not a perfect, but it’s what I have to give to you. In the end you know what makes a perfect date for you and how you want that date to turn out, but maybe one or two pieces of advice in here will become useful to you.
When asking a girl out on a date for the first time and this is for every girl you ask out on a date, not just literally the first girl! Do not IM, text, email or call her or any other type of social media. Ask her in person as it is much more personal then and it says a lot about the person you are.
Now you have to decide what to do on the date? Ask her what she would like to do and make plans for something you will both enjoy doing! My only suggestion is to make sure it includes one of the meals through the day. A few examples could be breakfast and a walk or a park, lunch and shopping or dinner and a movie. As long as you put a little thought in to what you do and not just show up going “uh so what should we do?”
So you have made it through asking and deciding what to do on your date. As I mentioned it should include one of the meals. McDonald’s, Burger King or any other fast food restaurant is not a meal to be had on the first date! Pick a quieter restaurant, preferably one with booths. When making arrangements reserve a booth as this will be less distracting and quieter so the two of you can talk and get to know one another.
Pick her up! Do not make the arrangements and say “I will meet you there”. This is time to start the date and get it rolling. If one of you are late then it doesn’t turn in to this mad rush for the restaurant where one of you is stressed out. It allows time to get the date rolling in a good way and it gives you extra time to get to know one another.
When picking her up and if you want to take her flowers do so! I will tell you that sometimes the simplicity of a single favorite flower of hers can go a long way! If she loves roses a single rose when you pick her up could start the date out in a really good way. Find out her favorite flower!
Tell her she looks beautiful or gorgeous do not use words like banging, hot, smokin or any other word as such! She has most likely spent a lot of time getting ready for the date and making herself beautiful for you!
Dating is about showing who you are as a person
When getting to the car open the door for her and allow her to get in and close the door. This is just one of those chivalrous things to do.
You have now started your date and are on your way. This is the time to get the conversation for the going, so obviously you will be asking how she is? how was her day? so on and so forth as you are on your way to the restaurant.
Once you are in the restaurant and seated and the chat turns to getting to know one another such as family, friends, things you enjoy doing so on and forth it is important that you engage her by looking in to her eyes as you talk as this shows you are listening, do not glance all around her and not at her, do not fumble with the cutlery, do not constantly look at the table next to you. Look at her, sit straight not slouched over or leaning. A big one here!Keep your phone in your pocket. Do not put it on the table where it will be a distraction to the date.
If your date consists of dinner and a movie try and pick a restaurant in close proximity to the theater, as this gives you the opportunity to walk and talk some more before the movie. A warm summer evening walk is a great way to keep the date relaxed.
So by now you have had dinner watched a movie and taking her back home (don’t forget to open the doors for her) and you start to talk about how things went on the date. Even if things did not go well, do not forget your manners when dropping her back home. You still get out and open the door for her and escort her to her door and politely say goodnight. If things went well on the date, well what happens at the door is between you two. I can only give so much advice on that!
Oh! One more thing to add…. You asked her out on a date! Don’t forget that you are paying 😉 enjoy!
Always remember that first impressions last a life time! I have raised you as courteous and polite young men and that should carry in to your romantic life as you start to venture in to it. This girl you have taken on a first date is your time to impress her as well as hers to impress you. If it turns in to a second date and a third it means you find each other qualities attractive enough to keep dating, if it doesn’t turn in to a second date you have still given her a wonderful evening and one she will always remember.
I originally wrote this confession to myself! Hoping that writing it out would allow some of my worries about being a dad and the thing’s that keep me awake at night would subside. It helped a little to write out my confession, but they still do not allow me to sleep. I may one day unlock this for all to see, but right now I have chosen to keep it locked and let a chosen few read it and see if I am the only one out there who literally can’t sleep and feel guilt ridden sometimes about their kids.
As in most social media blogging seems to be mostly of how beautiful my life is and you rarely get a glimpse of what other thing’s may be going on behind that blog and blogger. Admitting things to the world can be hard and scary as you put yourself out there everyday, putting on a happy face for everyone, even when you feel horrid inside. I find myself awake again and staring at my screen trying to write a post that’s upbeat and happy, but it’s just not in the cards again. As many of you know I haven’t had the greatest couple of years with losing my dad, my mom now waiting to pass on and a few other deaths in the family. I haven’t had time to grieve properly as life was kept very busy and it all weighs on me. My biggest confession of guilt is my kids. I feel like I have not been there for them as I should have been! I have had moments of self wallow and breakdown. They are happy kids and always have a smile. I am there for them from when they wake up to when they go to sleep. I tell them I love them and hug them everyday. I take them wherever they need to go, I cook, clean,do laundry and maintain the house and I find time to work in there too. My guilt runs deep though. I sometimes feel like I am failing them as a father. I wonder if I push them enough to succeed, but yet I am scared to push them to hard they will fold under pressure? I wonder if I show them enough love? I wonder and what their future holds for them? I wonder if I do enough for them or do I do to much and they can’t be independent? I love my kids so much and I worry about them all the time as all I want is the very best in life for them! I want them to have everything they dream of in life and to find their passion and live it! Long story short… I stress about them and want to give them the world, but not in a way that they don’t appreciate life and the thing’s that they do get. Mostly I don’t want them to ever hold these stress’s I do! In thinking of them, here is one of their favorite songs as of recent and it’s one of mine too as it’s got a “chill” beat!