Dear Malin Reese,
In just a few days, I’ll be 30-years-old. I haven’t thought much about it until the last week, most of it prompted by your Mom whose cruel cracks about me turning 30 have become an almost constant echo in our household. Just last night, on our way to my Basketball game, she told our friends who were riding along in the car that she knew 30 was knocking on my door because my man parts are trending downwards. By the way, we’ll have the painful discussion about man parts one day but here’s a pre-emptive strike; They’re the Devil and smell bad. Avoid at all costs! One day, your Mom will try to convince you that I’m the vulgar one who corrupted her. Just know that Daddy is pure of heart and would never say the inappropriate things that your Mom says.
Anyways, turning 30 isn’t daunting to me. I don’t plan on having an introspective meltdown, where I weep uncontrollably in the corner of a dark room because I’m not at the exact place in my life I thought I’d be. I’m exactly where I need to be in my life and I know I’m lucky to be here. It’s pretty simple; if I’m holding you in one arm, have my hand interlocked with your Mom’s and Magnus is humping Mia’s face in the corner of the room, where else would I want to be? This will hold true for the rest of my life so age will always just be a number to me.
My upcoming birthday did get me thinking about something else though. I’m unequivocally an Adult now. I’m old enough to be considered “old” by teenagers. On the bright side, I can now consider teenagers “punk ass kids”. There will always be natural tension between the young and the old. The young, flaunting their smooth skin and boundless energy and the old, displaying their wisdom and freedom of choice. Despite this, there’s a general rule that young people should respect their elders. I’m here to tell you that’s total bullshit. You should always give people, regardless of age, the benefit of the doubt and treat them with respect. That doesn’t mean you should automatically respect them. Let me give you an example: I treat most of the Baby Boomer Generation (Born between 1946-1964) with respect. I actually love a lot of them. They include your Grandparents and many other important people in your life. As a generation though, they suck and I can’t muster respect for them as a group. There’s an argument to be made that they are the worst and most selfish generation. At the very least, they’re an embarrassment to the Greatest Generation who fought and sacrificed during World War II and then helped build Modern America.
The point here is, make people of any age earn your respect. In turn, always seek to earn the respect of others. There should be no expectation that you deserve respect or that people deserve your respect. I’m positive you’ll be discerning enough to make the distinction between the two. One last thing and I’m about to shatter the central tenet of this whole letter.; ALWAYS SHOW RESPECT AND HAVE RESPECT FOR YOUR MOM.
P.S. I’m sorry in advance that you are going to hear your Mom tell me that I’m “old as balls” on Monday.
P.P.S. I’ll probably receive some choice words from The Baby Boomer Generation when they read this letter. They’ll say that my generation sucks too and they’ll be right. At least I won’t be in denial about it.
Dad of a beautiful little girl. Husband to an amazing woman. Son and sibling of a perfectly weird and wonderful family.