Fatherhood: Week Seven - A Letter Of Fearlessness, Tolerance, and Love

Dear Beckett, 

Every week I write a blog about how you and your mom teach me something about myself. You’re barely seven weeks old, but you both teach me so much about determination, patience, understanding, and tolerance. This is an amazing feat for you when you consider that your achievements up to this point consist of eating, pooping, and the occasional cry. 

I can’t wait to pass things on to you: showing you how important David Bowie was to me or watching your face when you watch Star Wars or Goldfinger for the first time. Maybe you’ll want to run a 5K with your mom and I or go for a bike ride along the canal. You’ll ask us why we mostly stay indoors during a Phoenix summer while you see all the fun your cousins in the Midwest are having outside. During the winter, you will probably ask your cousins what snow is and why it makes them stay inside. 

When you’re older, you’ll start watching television and asking us a lot of questions about the things you see. I did the same thing with my parents. They had an answer for nearly everything. It taught me a lot about the world. I was pretty lucky to have two people who were so knowledgable.

I turned on the TV this morning and thought about how I could explain some of the events that happened this week to you, but I don’t think I will ever be able to. I want to explain it away by telling you people are ignorant or scared, but it is never that simple. Please don’t expect television to answer all your questions. I want it to raise more questions. It should arouse your curiosity. The thing television should not do is make you scared or angry. 

You were born in a time when it seems like all that television does is frighten and enrage people. It makes men fear those who are in power. It allows those with money and power to attempt to control you. It makes people think that tragedy is commonplace. It will tell you how you should feel and act around others. 

Those who are on television will tell you lies to entice you to keep watching. If you believe them, you will be like your cousins during a winter blizzard: scared to go outside.

I don’t want you to believe everything you see on television. There are always going to be bad people who do bad things. Your mother and I will never be able to explain why these things happen. They just do. They should not prevent you from being an open-minded, trusting, tolerant, and loving human being.

Remember this above all: don’t let anything or anyone make you scared. I’ve lived a long time in fear of what people might say or think of me. I’ve been scared by what the media has said could happen to me. It’s caused me to miss out on so many opportunities and experiences. So much is learned from encounters and mistakes, just like I learn so much from you everyday.

Think for yourself. Greet life with optimism. Love those around you like you mom and I love you: unconditionally. 

We are so lucky to have you in our lives. We are so privileged to raise you in this uncertain world. I can’t guarantee this will keep you away from harm. You will run into trouble sometimes no matter what, but we will always be here for you. 

More than anything, I just want your light to shine bright for everyone.

Love, 

Your Dad