To my beautiful girls.
I know you ladies are still young and some of this will not apply for a few more years but I want you to know how much I love you and what may have shaped some of my seeminglessly irrational ideas and decisions. First and foremost, I love you. This is that unconditional love, the kind that makes you end up doing things you wouldn’t normally do; like painting my toe nails pink and calling some little kid names for picking on you. That goes for both of you. With that said, I want to let you know a few things that guide my parenting decisions.
#1 I will protect you, no matter the personal cost to me. Even if it’s from yourself at times, I will step in to protect you. At times I won’t always give you a direct answer; I may however, lead you down what I think is the right path.
#2 Family is Family, it doesn’t have to be defined by blood or marriage. We have seen many families that take all different forms, some large, some small, some with two dads or two moms, some with only one parent. They are all families and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
#3 Love whom ever you want. Someone else cannot possibly tell you what you love or who you love, that’s insane. You make up you own mind especially when it comes to love.
#4 Be happy, as long as it doesn’t hurt yourself or others. This is America after all, if you decide to move to another country I might not be able to help you out as much. 🙂
#5 Believe in what ever religion you want, I will help you reach whatever spiritual goals you wish to obtain in life. I will never force something on you. If either of you want to go to a Mosque or a Buddhist prayer group to see what its about I will not stop you…unless it contradicts #4. Your personal spiritualism and beliefs should never cause harm to another human being.
#6 Be good to yourself. I’ve always believed that it would be very difficult to love or help others if you can’t love and help yourself first. Take care of your own house before you help build someone else’s.
#7 Be polite. When someone speaks to you, acknowledge them, when someone says thank you, say you’re welcome. Don’t be overly polite, that get s annoying, just be a good person.
#8 Help others, this doesn’t have to be money or physical things, maybe just spend some time with people, talk to them.
#9 Put down what ever electronic device you’re currently holding and talk to the people around you. Don’t take advantage of your real friend, Facebook friends can’t pick you up when your at a friends house that you didn’t tell us about…
#10 Be independent, you should never say, “I wish I had someone to do this for me” figure it out for yourself, you’ll be happier for it and you can teach someone else what you learned. This is one of biggest reasons I love your mother. She doesn’t need me to do things for her. I want to do things for her. I don’t want you to need someone, or need to be in a relationship, you deserve to want to be with someone and to be wanted not needed. this one is hard to teach but its one of the most important, so all I can thing to do is show you as much as you’ll let me; how to change tires and your own oil. I’ll probably make you barter for your first car too, be ready for that.
The final thing, its not a number just a way to live your life; treat others as you wish to be treated. I won’t be able to be there all the time to tell you not to do something or whats the best decision is; I can only hope that what I show you and teach you helps guide you to the best decision for you.
P.S. The photo at the top was not taken by me; my amazing beautiful wife is the one that can capture the moments as it truly are.