I Love You Liam (A Dads Letter to his Son)

I love you Liam. Being in my life has changed me since you were born. It has forced me to think of someone else to be responsible to in a way I’ve never felt before. No handbook, no instructions, you are my first and boy I’m glad your smile, laughter and now language and conversation confirm for me that I’m doing ok by you.

Please know that I cherish you. Your smile lights my kingdom, your conversation gives me warmth, and your laughter takes my pains away. Your presence is valued always.

Last weekend we went on a camping trip together for the first time. I was so keen to have this be a great experience for you. I was so keen to try out new adventures with you. Do you know that I haven’t been camping since my high school years?! Yet when I heard of the opportunity my medical and health conditions took a backseat and I wanted, needed to do this with you. I don’t know really who this was for. I say it was for you in the first instance. Then I think a little more and realise it was for me, more so. The chance to be a bloke for and with you on a weekend with new experiences for you.

I’m glad we did camp last weekend. You were so happy and learnt new things, made new friends and enjoyed the company of others and of mine. I certainly enjoyed your company. You offered your thoughts of the weekend as it progressed and I knew that you were happy, which made me happy, pleased to know that this was a positive experience.

I’m so glad that we spend significant time with each other. It gives me the chance to let you grow and develop. I love that we now have a routine at home that works, and extracurricular activities that engage you. Swimming, drama, football are already set in motion. Today you brought a form home for music lessons, you advised me that your favourite option is keyboard. I already knew this but what I enjoy most is that you come to me with confidence and declare your intentions. I will try to accommodate your requests (not enough of the details to confirm yet) because I’ve already seen your keenness with keyboards previously.

Oh how I want the world for you! Not on a silver platter, not in that fashion. More of the person to be who can make that happen for themselves, I guess those that earn that position. For example, at camp you asked the father that shared our bunk room for his home phone number so that you can catch up with his son. All you requested from me was pencil and paper. I had no idea that that was what you would do next! That makes me very proud of you, not needing permission to make a request that didn’t step on anyone’s toes. I think you’ll go far in this world and I’d like to believe that in some small ways I helped you form strong, powerful and positive opinions of yourself. Why not?! The world really is your oyster!

I know that you look up to me for many things in your life. You ask a lot of questions that show me you are engaged in life. You seek comfort with me when things don’t quite go as planned for you. You come to me when you are hurt. I think you see me as a confident source of information. I’d like to think that I am a rock for you, centred and strong, able to survive with you. This makes me check myself often, wondering if I am that person for you.

What I come up with is this; I am flexible enough to know when to stand firm and when to be adaptable. A lot of love every day for you and a little bit of tough love when needed. All to provide, nurture and care for you to become a great person for yourself and for others. Not a stiff, immovable rock that has no flex. But a person who can be strong and adaptable.

Hopefully these are qualities you can take on for yourself.
I think that is a great way to live a life.

— Love, Sam.

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