I imagine that most fathers are proud of their sons; I am no exception. My sons, Christopher and William, are remarkable young men. Their vision and perspective is limited by their inexperience and physical, mental, and spiritual immaturity, but they both have hearts of gold.
I am proud of my boys, not for the promise they hold, but for the unique combination of love, truth, and life that makes them, them. I am proud of my boys, not for their outer accomplishments (e.g. their high marks in school, good manners, athletic accomplishments, etc.), but for the spirit that they bring to meet life as it unfolds through and around them.
They will undoubtedly meet with struggles and strife — both internal and external — as all do in the living of life, but my great hope for them is that they remember to always, in every circumstance, give their highest and finest. I wish for them lives filled with the satisfaction of never having excused themselves from giving their best, no matter how daunting, unfair, imbalanced, or strange the things might be that come their way.
Seeing them grow and mature has been one of my greatest pleasures. As a father, I am pained when they suffer and elated when they triumph, and I imagine and hope that deep empathetic connection never wanes. I shall always do my utmost to be available, non-judgmental, encouraging, and at hand no matter what I am facing in my field of responsibility.
There are many lessons I wish to give to save them from the pitfalls I have encountered along the way, and my various writings have partly been an attempt to record some of those thoughts for their future digestion and where there is value, assimilation. At the same time I realize that one of my core responsibilities as a father is to prepare my sons to be independent, free thinking, and reined from within, rather than regulated from without.
There is so much to say about fatherhood. It is a sacred responsibility and a humbling privilege. It awesome, awful, majestic and rapturous…sometimes all at once. I am convinced that the best fathers drop all pretense, never shirk responsibility, never shrink from vulnerability, and always center in love, even when forced to take the hard line.
I imagine that most fathers would say or at least feel this about their own, but I cannot imagine two better sons than Christopher and William.
Thank you, sons, for being you.