I have been keeping a journal (a gift I got from LB's Dad).  It isn't so much of a journal as it is letters to my son.  I catch myself writing ongoing life lessons.  He's only two and a half so he is going to have a lot of reading to do by the time he is eighteen.  I feel like this has been therapeutic.  I have a way of sharing with him the things that he just can't possibly keep stored.  Now, he will have it forever. 

There is a great quote by Elizabeth Stone, ‘Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.’ This is very true.  You will learn this when you become a parent.  When you cry, my heart cries.  When you get hurt, my heart hurts.  When you smile, laugh, and love – my heart does the same.  A piece of me resides within you.

Oh the places you’ll go – “There will be times in your life when you feel stuck.  It’s up to you to decide where you’ll go.  Keep on trekking.  Go, go, go kid.  You’ll move mountains.”  I have not a doubt in my mind that you will do just this.  Be strong, be kind and there is nothing you can’t do.

Accept others.  Be kind to everyone.  Everyone has their own story, their own challenges and struggles.  Accept them as they are and treat them with respect – they deserve it until they show you that they don’t. 

Being a man. It isn’t defined by the extra curricular activities that you pursue.  Being a man, being you, is defined by your character.  Be emotional, be sincere, be you.  I am always proud of you.

Work with your hands.  Our family comes from hard workers.  They have dirt on their hands, literally.  I want you to know how to change your oil (and your moms) and I want you to help Grandpa in the field.  This will help you to be a well rounded individual. 

Go to College.  This is not an option and absolutely not negotiable.  I will support whatever you want to do with your life but you have to have a degree and the experience that comes with going to collage. 

Find your passion.  Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.  Do it as your career or on the side as a hobby.  Always know that life is worth living.  It goes too quickly and it is wasted if you don’t enjoy it.  If you live this way, you will inspire others to do the same.

Never stop learning.  If you don’t know the answer to something, ask.  Why and how create stimulation in your brain. That is how you learn.  Figure out the mechanical, chemical, environmental causes for everything.  Take classes for enjoyment ~ Solely for the purpose of learning. 

Respect. Period.  Show it to everyone.  You are no better or worse than anyone else.  Friends, family, loves, strangers, earth – all deserve your respect.  You get what you give.

Put the toilet seat down.  Seriously.  Not only is it polite but it is sanitary to do so.

Dream.  Smile.  Love.

 And last but not least, home is where your heart is.  Go and explore.  Travel and experience life.  Just know that you can always come home.  I will always be there with open arms and with a kiss in the crook of your neck (that’s my favorite place). 

Kisses times 10, LB. Love you!