My dearest boys,
When your father and I got married we started a blog to keep two international families abreast of what was going on in our lives. It covers me learning to cook, uncle Pookie’s teenage years, and some of your grandparent’s shenanigans; its purpose has morphed from a collection of silliness to a coming-of-age, and eventually became my gift to you boys so you could one day re-visit your childhood in stories and pictures. I also want you to understand some of the lessons your father and I learn as we learn them- it will help your understand yourselves one day.
This post will likely be longer than others to come, as there is a lot of cover. First, how about I let you know how I see you at this very moment.
Ryker, you are one of the most intuitively bright little humans I have ever seen. You don’t allow others to be sad. You can sense someone is unhappy even when they try and hide it, and you can often fix it. You, my son, have an extraordinary gift. Your heart, at three years old, is more developed than most adults. You bend over backwards to make sure the ones you love aren’t sad. You are very much like you grandpa Doodle that way. You are loyal, protective, sweet, and you know without being told what is morally right and wrong. At two years old, you were already protecting your brother from other kids (Cole’s look of pride whenever his big brother stepped in to protect him is something I will never forget). You also seem to have the “Held” penchant for being exceedingly athletic, but falling a lot. A LOT. Your laugh is infectious, and I look forward to nothing more than our Saturday “dates” when you open doors for me and order food for yourself.
Cole, my angel. You my son, are hilarious. There is no being mad at you. Unlike your brother, you are completely unaware if someone is mad and it is often the best ticket to get the moment to pass. You are determined, unwavering, and very bright. You analyze situations before making a move, and once you are comfortable you seek no approval to entertain yourself. You are delightful, fun, and happy, but it is your caution and independence that makes me feel like you will be a force to be reckoned with as a man. I can already feel the pride I will have for you as you continue to grow and develop. I fear for anyone who chooses to cross you. You are kindhearted and don’t seek confrontation, but when confrontation comes your way your eyes shoot a warning that I feel will be enough to get you out of many fights. I already know that whatever you decide to do, you will be an unbelievable successful at.
Boys, I want you to understand that your individual gifts are profound. However I need you to know that what you can do together would be earth shattering. You are both charming in different ways, and both exceedingly intelligent in different categories. You are a perfect match, although I am sure you will frustrate each other to no end. It is my wish as your mother that you each know that your brother is always there for you. If there is a battle, you both fight. If there is heartache, you both cry. If life hands you lemons, as brother you pick up those damn lemons and you throw them together. As brothers, you are more apart of each other than anyone ever will be, and you should be each other’s armor. Should there ever be a rift between you, make it your top priority to mend it.
Now I want you to know about your mom and dad as they are at this very moment. Your father and I work together at a university that allows us more time to focus on you boys. The trade-off between time and money means that you boys get family meals at home, dance-offs before bed, weekends at the park and donuts on Sunday, big breakfast Saturday and homemade cookies, and lots of laughs with your mom and dad. What you miss because daddy is no longer a finance manager and mommy left mortgage banking is Disneyland vacations and designer bedrooms. Your father and I have decided that time is worth the gap on the paycheck. I personally relish every moment I have with you and hope that I am making the best decisions for you daily.
I also want you to know what we have overcome as a family. I have had a handful of health crises that have tested us all. Perhaps we didn’t shoulder through the storms with full grace, but we did it. I want you to know this because much of the faith, love, and support you will experience in your life will be partially fertilized by the shit that we have overcome. If I coddle you, it is because I want to soak up every precious moment I have with you. If I push you, it is because I see the perfection that you are, and I don’t want a moment to pass by where I didn’t help you grab at happiness. You see, my sons, your life will be full. It will be full of things, none of which are good or bad. It is up to you, and you alone, whether those things are positive or negative. You choose everything. You choose to be pitied or celebrated, admired or scorned, happy or sad. When times are difficult, I will be there finding something we can laugh at as we wait for shit to turn into fertilizer, just like your father and I have done these past few years. With family, you will never be alone. With your brother, you will always have a friend.
So here is my advice for you for the moment:
• Know your limits and live near that edge. Find what makes you happy and always work towards it, but don’t lose sight of the happiness when entrenched in the journey
• Help others, and be kind. What you put out in the universe gets stored, and when you least expect it but most need it, it will come pouring out on you. (Ryker, be careful not to give too much. Cole can help you with that )
• Leave trouble behind. There is truly very little worth stressing about. When you have kids yourself, I allow you to stress. But until then there is nothing more stupid to allow into your minds. You were born happy, funny, amazing boys… that is who you are. Stress will eclipse that. Don’t let it.
• Look for the funny, there is always something funny.
• Work hard. Don’t be lazy about anything, no matter now insignificant it may seem. No one will ever fault you for being a hard worker. You naturally have everything else it takes to have whatever you want, so just work hard to get it.
I will do my best to write letter to you often. Your antics are a comedy show, and I hope one day it entertains you as much as it has me. I will see if I can get your dad to write a letter or two as well One day when life provides you similar circumstances to your father and I, it may help to know your parents missteps and victories.
I love you endlessly, my rascals.