Seriously though…what happened?
It wasn’t but two months ago that I wrote you a letter stating your laid back nature. Hopefully you’ll read that letter and this letter one right after the other so you can see how quickly I feel like things changed. I guess you finally found something worth making an effort for. I don’t know what it is, but in the course of two months you went from happily falling asleep wherever we put you to needing to explore every corner of the house.
That’s right, you recently started crawling. But this advent of mobility was not an accomplishment that you casually let pass. No, you took this as an opportunity to explore our home from end to end. Your mother and I are very quickly needing to re-learn simple baby-proofing things like shutting all doors and picking up anything we don’t want drool on.
As much surprise, and to be completely honest, stress, this is bringing, I am also excited for you. Much like when a teenager learns to drive, this opens up a world of opportunity for you. You very much recognize that nothing (higher than 11”) is out of your reach now. Where you used to be limited to wherever your mom or I would put you, now you dash for whatever thing in your eyesight looks the most entertaining, which is usually whatever your sister is playing with, much to her chagrin.
But with this milestone of your life comes some simple truths: there are dangerous things around. You’ve already put a mallet to your sister’s xylophone in your mouth, only to jam the loose end against the carpet and the large and into the back of your throat. Your mom and I are trying as hard as we can to keep our home safe for you, but your sister sure does like to leave her stuff around.
And although we will always try to keep our home safe for you, as quickly as it seemed that you learned to crawl, you will learn to walk. And just as quickly, you will learn that you can leave our home to go to friends’ homes, school, movies, or wherever else you choose. Mobility is one of those things that opens the world to you and it should not be taken lightly.
Please, son, please be careful where you let yourself go. Please understand that there are things in this world that are far more dangerous than a xylophone mallet, things that will shine and glimmer and entice you to go toward it, only to harm you and shock you irrevocably. By the time you read this, you will probably be thinking that I’m just your dad and that I’m being overprotective, and it may be true, but it also doesn’t make what I’m saying false. I will say again, please be careful where you go.
But, with that being said, I will also let you know that there are beautiful places in this world. There are incredible opportunities just waiting for you to step out of the door and seek them out, things that will amaze and astonish you, things that you will remember fondly for the rest of your life. These things may appear as drab or simple. They may even appear as scary or risky, but for these things, it’s worth taking the risk. It’s worth it to face your fears and go places you’ve never been before.
The obvious question is this: how do you distinguish between the two? I hope and pray that you learn to know Christ as I do. If so, know that the Spirit of God lives with you and wants to guide you to incredible places and take you on incredible journeys. Trust His Spirit at all times and you won’t go wrong. Trust your elders and be humble enough to take advice on places to go and places to avoid. Have friends that will go with you places and trust both their instincts and your own. And, of course, know that I am here to help you, whenever you want help.
I love you, son, and I’m excited to see you on the move. And although I won’t have to worry about this for many years, I just want you to face each new journey with both trepidation and excitement. And whenever you’re not sure about where to go, I hope to be there for you for many years helping to put you on the right path.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
1 Corinthians 1:4-
Christian, husband, father, and pastor. Also a proud and dedicated nerd. One of the dads at TheDadLetters.com and author of TheLivesIHaveLived.wordpress.com.