Hi there future son, this is your dad. You’re not here yet, but you still make up 90% of the things I’m thinking about. Things about you run through my mind like water rushing over a waterwheel. The steady stream of questions I have about you literally makes my head spin. What will you look like? What will your personality be? Which parts of you will come from me, and which parts from your mom? Will you like chocolate or vanilla? Coke or Pepsi? Sports or music?
I can’t wait for you to get here since there are so many things I want to know about you. The more I think about these endless things, the more apparent it is to me that I want us to be friends. I’m going to be your dad and you my son, there’s no way around that. Of course I will do everything I can to be the best father to you, and in raising you I will find out millions of things about you already. But there are going to be those things which are not apparent or are things you choose to hold close to your heart. As you grow and become more independent the things I’ll pick up about you by being your father will diminish and the things you hold within yourself will grow. When this happens I will have to rely more on you telling me things about yourself and less on observations. Who better to tell these things than a friend? I hope you see me as a friend, and hold me as close to your heart as you hold your dearest secrets.
Being friends will make it so natural for you to reveal things about yourself to me that once in a while I hope I surprise you with just how much I know about you. Hopefully I can gain your trust enough to confide in me your secrets and fears. I promise not to judge and to listen more than I talk. This can also be a two way street, where I will treat you as my dearest friend as well and let you in on my fears and dreams. The first time we meet, I will have already traveled almost halfway down this road of my life, and you will have just begun your journey. It would fill my heart with so much joy if we could simply travel together down wherever the road takes us.
They say that people lose half their friends every seven years and replace them with new ones. As I look back over my life I think that the losing part is true, but the replacing part seems to be missing. You see your mother and I have moved around a lot and that makes it awfully easy to lose friends but awfully hard to make new ones. With you on the way we’ll have even less time to spend cultivating more friendships, but that’s ok since we’re getting something so much better! And really, friendship is one of those things where quality really outweighs quantity. So the good news for you is that I will have all the time I could want to devote to being your friend. But don’t worry, there’s no responsibility on your part. You can have access to all of my time, even if I can only have a little bit of yours. While I’m more apt to lose touch with friends, you will be more apt to making lots and lots of friends as children and young men do. You will be busy with school and activities and hanging out, which is all just fantastic! It would just be great if you could check in with your old man once in a while and maybe offer to go grab a bite together. We could talk about anything that’s on your mind like that girl at school, your crazy idea about taking a year off after college to go backpacking, that movie you hated, whatever. You know, just like two friends hanging out.