notes on love for my only child…

My Dearest Son,

The ten years that we have spent together has gone by in the blink of an eye. At some point soon, you’ll have no use (or want) for my counsel, so I’m taking this opportunity to express to you what I feel is hard-earned wisdom, something that can do you more good than any “wrapped Christmas gift” that I can provide…

Amongst my many shortcomings, admitted and otherwise, is my tendency to “feel too strongly”, to “hurt hard” and to “love hard”. Please let me explain: the best way for me to put it is that I am cut from the cloth of “one is too many, and a thousand are not enough”. This holds true for concrete objects as well as the abstract — whatever makes me feel good, I want, maybe even need, more and more of. The unfortunate fact is that without a governor on my switch, I often get wrapped up and lost in the pursuit and act of acquiring, keeping and consuming. To my core, I pray that this “bug” in my operating system skips right over you. I’m of the mindset that we as children are put on this Earth to learn from our parent’s mistakes, to not repeat them, and to go ahead and make our own so as to have a unique and fulfilled life and to pass something along to further generations. I do hope that you understand and you can learn from my words rather than repeating my mistakes in personal trial and error.

That said: love…

What a magical thing it is, no?

In watching you, and in light of the circumstances of your mother’s and my unfortunate divorce, I’ve learned that I in no way have the right to limit your capacity to receive or give love. You do both extremely well, Harry; you light up people’s lives and you allow them to light up yours. No questions asked. Maybe its the innocence of your youth, but I could not be more proud (in addition to being slightly envious, as its something that I always had trouble with). I believe (hope) that we can chalk it up to you building upon my aforementioned shortcomings, and overcoming them on your own. I did not help you in this matter. It was all under your own steam.

Again, I’m proud of you, boy.

So here’s the long and short of it, Harrison: you will fall in and out of love, back in and out, and so on…

“Why doesn’t it happen once, with a happily ever after?”

I don’t know, sweetheart, I’ve no appropriate answer for you. I do know that its one of the mysteries and wonders and pains of life that we inevitably get pulled into. Be grateful for this and let it happen in its own time. Had I had known that I’ve no control in this realm whatsoever, things may have been much, much easier for me, but no less natural in their processes.

I will guarantee you that you’ll develop strong feelings for another person, that you will fall in love, without anything to catch you.

You’ll have no choice in the matter whatsoever, despite every gnarled and twisted signpost you encounter, loudly warning you not to. You will become dizzy, (love)sick, your heart will race, you’ll lose sleep, you will feel like everything you say is wrong and foolish; every thought you have will relate to this person (male or female? I don’t know and I don’t particularly care, for that matter); you will do anything for them in your power and you will feel like you can do anything, hurdles, shame and failure be goddamned.

Your mother and I will come a distant second to this person. Don’t concern yourself, though, as its only natural.

I pray that its a long and beautiful “waking dream” for you. A soft vision that you can experience during every minute of your life. This may be the case; they write songs about it, you know… however, I don’t think it will happen this way. The brutal truth of our allotted time here. Yes, love, it may be a dream at times, but one from which you will roll in and out of, with regularity, and often to your frustrated dismay.

Take all of the punches you can, my young man. They may not make you harder, as that’s not really the advisable goal of loving and losing, but you may, with luck, look back and say, upon the final “hit”, that it was all worth it.

With all of my love,

Dad

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