By Ehren Tresher:
As I write this you’re floating the morning away in your mommy’s tummy - head down, feet up, and preparing to make your grande entrance into our reality very soon. To be quite honest, I can’t fully comprehend the fact that your mom and I have created you, or that you’ll arrive in coming days or weeks and change our lives forever. I can’t fathom the depth of my love for you, having not even really seen or met you just yet - save the ultrasound - but somehow I know our relationship will be more wonderful than any expectations I can fabricate. There is so much I want to teach and tell you. Even as I type these words, too many thoughts to capture escape forever into the ether. It will take me the rest of my life to share all that I want to with you, and even that won’t be near enough time. As you can see, one letter could never do justice to the innumerable feelings I have when I think of you. No number of sentences, or paragraphs, or pages will suffice to properly explain how much I love you, or to impart life’s endless lessons - all of which I’m either learning or re-learning constantly. But in this letter I want to tell you some things I think you need to know. Some of these things may at first seem unpleasant or sad, but if you take them to heart they will serve you well in life.
1.) Your family loves you. We love you like no one else. No matter what wrongs you do or mistakes you might make, this will always be true.
2.) Friends come and go... some might last a lifetime, but your relationships will change over the years no matter what. Many whom you consider friends will be no more than acquaintances who are present in your life when it suits them. As you grow it will become your duty to be aware of the fakers, and to not allow others to take advantage of you. Despite all of this though, finding a true friend is worth any suffering you may be faced with in dealing with the fair-weather ones.
3.) You’re special and you can do anything! But... you’re only special to those who love you, and while you CAN do anything, the world owes you nothing. You’ll only achieve the things you work exceptionally hard for, and luck plays a big role too. Nothing in adult life is given - you’ve got to earn it. This almost always means starting at the bottom, having a willingness to do things others won’t, and doing your best work even on things which seem to not matter.
4.) Health = Happiness. Health of mind and body... Eating whole, unprocessed foods, monitoring portion sizes, developing an exercise regiment, discovering your own spirituality, and adhering to a mindfulness or meditative practice are essential elements of a healthy life.
5.) Speaking of mindfulness... Take every opportunity to stop, reflect, and appreciate being here. Even pain is a reminder that you’re alive and can feel. Don’t waste time worrying about things to come or events from the past, revel in the present. Cherish the little things - a moment of silence in between periods of chaos, the taste of each bite as you chew, the laughter of a friend, the warmth of the sun on your shoulders, the smell of clean bed sheets... All of the little things are what life is made of.
6.) Be true to yourself, and take calculated risks. Don’t blindly do what others want you to, unless it’s also what you want. Strive to fail. The more you fail at something, the better you’ll become. Celebrate your mistakes, then get back to it and do better!
7.) Be kind. Be patient. Getting along with others can be hard and trying, but remember that each and every person you encounter is dealing with their own very difficult problems.
8.) Speak up. Say how you feel, and never be afraid to stand up for yourself and those you care about. Along those lines, take every chance you get to let the people you love know just how you feel.
These 8 “rules” won’t always be easy to understand or follow, and life is much more complicated than simply following a set of guidelines, but it’s a start. Besides, you won’t need to worry about any of these things for some time now... We’ll tackle the basics - sleeping, eating, rolling over, and learning to use the potty - long before we get into the nuances of human relationships or living mindfully. But you’re on my mind all the time these days, and I can’t wait to have you in my arms. Knowing what I do, it’s painfully obvious that the years will go by fast, but I can’t wait to watch you grow as they speed toward the distant horizon. Your mother and I love you very much - more than you can even imagine - and we’re already so proud of you even though you’ve yet to take your first breath. I hope you enjoy the last sliver of time you have inside Mommy, because when you get here we’ve got work to do!
All my love, Daddy