To My Son on His 16th Birthday
Today you turn sixteen years old. I look back and I remember each year, month, and day of your life and our time together. Each milestone has been incredibly special to me from your first words, your first steps, every first day of school, and now your 16th birthday. This day represents your first step towards independence. Not independence from the oppression of your parents, lol, but the independence of the ability to be out in the world on your own. You will move about and make your own choices on what to do and how you do them. If you haven’t thought about it before now, you will.
Do not take these thoughts lightly. These are your hopes and dreams of what you want and will become. I encourage you to dream grandly and hope eternally. Do not give up on your dreams because of the limitations others have set on themselves. Do not allow yourself to settle for something less because the path is easy. Hold your head high and keep your dreams in sight, with every golden opportunity that comes leading you on the way.
I am proud of the man you are becoming. You carry yourself well and with confidence. You walk your own path, yet also enjoy the challenge of working with a team. Your talents, your intelligence, and your maturity show me you are capable of handling what the world throws your way. My hope for you is that you continue to use your abilities, but also make the right choices. For it is our choices that define who we are far more than our abilities*.
Now begin taking steps and know that there will be great successes, and also great failures. Each event is of tremendous importance as you experience life. Stay humble in your victories and learn from each loss. There is value in every one of life’s instances. Even though you may be on your own, you will never be alone. Know that you will always have me to offer guidance when you need, ears to listen, and love that will never end.
I love you more than you know and I wish you the happiest of birthdays.
Now go take your first steps…
*quoted from Albus Dumbledore