To my unborn boy or girl:
I’m not sure when we’ll meet. I’m not sure what you’ll look like. I’m not sure what your name will be.
I am almost certain, however, that it will be difficult to find a wife that will let me name you Germanicus, Octavia, Aurelius, Augusta, or any other name of my choosing.
I’m unsure if you’ll take an interest to sport, art, or literature. I’m unsure about your sexual orientation or you skin colour. None of these things are, or will be, a concern to me.
I couldn’t possibly love you any more or any less than I already do. Existence and creation are love, after all, and you will spring from that very same eternal source of life – but I digress.
You’ll quickly learn that we humans have a cruel obsession with guarantees. We dislike when the world around us isn’t concrete and stable. We constantly fight against the perpetual uncertainty that is life. Guarantees create an illusion of safety for us, and we are content to live our lives in that illusion.
Though I don’t remember mine personally, I’m sure your birth will be a difficult time for you. You are uncertain what to expect, you are completely dependant on others, and you are unable to defend yourself. It is for this reason that I search for guarantees to give you to put your thoughts to rest; to create an illusion of safety for you.
Unfortunately, I’ve noticed there isn’t many I can give you.
I can’t promise you protection. Danger comes hand in hand with stepping outside of your comfort zone and truly experiencing life. I don’t want you to play it safe. I want you to climb mountains and travel the world. To protect you would be to keep you close. To protect you would be to smother you. I want you to come, to see, and to conquer.
I can’t promise you happiness. I can give you comfort. I can give you warmth, bread, and a roof over your head. I can give you private schools or new hockey gear, but nothing I can give you will ever make you happy. You are, and always will be, responsible for your own happiness. I will help you down that path as much as I can, but happiness is your choice.
I can’t promise you I’ll know the answers. I’m a human, just like you. We are fallible; we make mistakes. I want you to never be afraid to fail. It’s okay to make a mistake. Too often do parents play the charade of perfection in front of their children, and reprimand them for not being perfect themselves. I’ll be as new to being a parent as you will be to being a child. We’ll both mess up along the way, but we’re in this together.
I can’t promise you I’ll always be there. I want you to embrace your independence and to realize how efficient you truly are. I’m going to let you figure some things out on your own. I’ll probably find it difficult and will intervene more than I should, but that’s part of my learning experience.
Big picture, we’re all mortal. One day I’ll pass on from this silly dream. When that happens, the more I’ve let you trip and fall along the way the more you’ll be ready to face this world alone. I need you know to how strong and capable you are.
I can’t promise you’ll be popular. Kids can be mean. They grow up in a society that makes them feel extremely uneasy in their own skin. Many of them will project those insecurities onto you. It will hurt.
I’ll take the time to show your true worth. You’ll learn, as a child of the stars, how perfect you are. I can’t promise you’ll be popular, but you’ll be in a place to take pity on insecure bullies rather than being hurt by them.
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt,
In the end, the only thing I can really promise you is that I won’t promise you anything – except for my eternal and undying love.
Your proud dad,