Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Letter to a Little Guy

Dear Sweet Child Of Mine,

Let's get one thing straight. You are seriously making a mess out of my fledgling writing career. How can I possibly expect to focus on blog posts and pitch perfect prose when you’re sleeping three feet in front of me? You're just too cute. Too awesome. It's impossible to not just sit here and stare. I mean you are barely a week old, and you’re already...

Time Out.

You just made a silly sound that was sort of a cross between a squeak and a sigh.

I am thisclose to melting.

And now I have no idea what I was going to say to you. None. Your charm is a magnet on my mix tape of thoughts. Whatever noise is going on inside my busy head gets wiped clean the instant you make a sound, share a wide-eyed expression, or even show off a little toot.

Anyway, I'm hoping that maybe you’ll give me a moment to concentrate, so I can jot down a few things I'd like to say to you as you take on Week Two of your big adventure.

Kiddo, your dad is a child of the 80s. There unfortunately is no way around this, and as you grow up, it will probably embarrass you at completely inopportune moments. I can tell you that I will try not to pick you up from the seventh grade dance while blasting Billy Squier’s The Stroke from the tape deck of a Toyota that should’ve been sold for scrap metal in 2001. But I make no promises. Because see, as you barrel through all of the speed bumps and potholes of youth, I’m certain I will watch with a sense of nostalgic pride. I've made a promise to myself - to remember as much as possible about what it felt like to be just like you. I want to recall the uncertainties of being a kid so that I can understand your troubles, fears and incredible sense of urgency. I want to never lose sight of how very vital everything feels during the emotionally dizzy days of childhood and adolescence. 

And most of all, I want to relate to you. I'm new at this parenting thing, but I'm pretty sure that this will take us both a long way.

So when I pick you up from your Junior High dance, I will probably want to travel back to my own years dancing to cheesy 80s songs in the Junior High gym. By the way, for me, this "dancing" was characterized by a signature move of the decade - jumping off folding metal chairs and performing daredevil kicks & spread eagles reserved mostly for freestyle skiers, figure skaters, and a young David Lee Roth. You may think this move will show off your athletic prowess and impress the ladies. But trust me, it does not.

For the record, I look forward to one day seeing your own baffling "signature move."

And hey, speaking of impressing the ladies... Please do know that if you’re trying to win over the Junior High Winter Carnival Queen, I will gladly turn the car stereo down for you as I pull into the parking lot. Or at least switch the tape player from Squier's Stroke to Journey's Open Arms. I recognize that when courting a Carnival Queen, or any gal at all, ambiance is crucial, and nothing bursts with romantic crescendos quite like a well-placed Journey song. 

You laugh, but son, you can learn many important things from the culture of your old man’s youth. The Tao of 80s Tunes – a.k.a. Everything I Know I Learned From Watching MTV – is an undervalued doctrine of hidden wisdom and insight. 

If you take nothing else from this letter, please always remember these words of advice:

Son, don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past, you must fight just to keep them alive. Just dream those dreams, scheme those schemes, and hit them with your laser beams. We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got. It doesn’t really matter if we make it or not. We’ve got each other, and that’s a lot. We have to believe we are magic, and nothing can stand in our way, because there’s no one who can tame our animal style, and we won’t be caged by the call of the wild! So when you feel like you’re always in the dark, living in a powder keg and giving off sparks, just remember that we are all just children, fighting our way around indecision.

And lastly, when a problem comes around, you must whip it.

Little Guy, I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. After all, you're only nine days old. Everything probably feels a little overwhelming at the moment. But more than anything, I want you not to worry about navigating life's massive roadmap. Me and your mom - we've got your back. We joke about how because your birthdate was July 24th, we'll have to call you The 24/7 Kid. But I think what I want you to know most of all is that I aspire to be The 24/7 Dad

Yes, Sweet Child, it’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you…

...because you take me by the heart when you take me by the hand.



  1. Very touching post Eric thanks for sharing all best to you and your new born stu

  2. Erik, now you're going to make me cry! This is just the most beautiful letter to a child that I've ever read! What a beautiful soul you are!

  3. So very proud to have you as a son and Zach as a grandson. You are both beautiful.


  4. *melts*

    Your last line? Ah Erik you're so fine... you're so fine you blow my mind hey, Erik! ;) Didn't want you to think I didn't catch that! :)