I have a Word doc on my PC, somewhere in the deep deep storage, that I think I originally entitled “My advice to my unborn son.” I think I was originally inspired to start the doc because of a tradition my Dad started before I was born: he used to write a letter to himself every year about how things were for the family and after we took down the house’s Christmas decorations he would pack it along side the lights and ornaments. The next year, when we would start the annual decorating, he would open up the letter and read it, to see how far we’d come or slid back, since one never knew how things would turn out year over year. Then he’d throw it out. Never understood that part of it, but hey – it was his thing.
I realized pretty quickly after he was born that I had my son at an older age than a “traditional” father does, so I was thinking that writing a letter to my son’s future self could be… handy? amusing? interesting? OK, likely as boring as fuck, but if it’s the last chance I have to explain some of the choices I made for him or where the world was at the time of his youth, I didn’t want by pass that by not writing something down, so I cracked open Word and had a go at it. What’s in it? Frankly, I don’t remember because it’s been a while since I’ve added to it, but as I was taking him to summer camp today, one bit of advice came back to me like a ton of bricks and if this is the only advance that he – or any young kid – can learn from the body of my experience on this spin rock in space, it’s this one simple thing:
Life is not a John Hughes movie.