Letter to My Son

I’ve already written two letters to my daughter and one to black women but today goes to my son (that doesn’t exist). With all the extensive pressure to perform and live a certain way to society’s standards, I want to reach out to him. I want to give him some lessons I’ve never gotten about growing up.

Dear Son,

I love you. You are loved. Your value to me is not connected with your performance but by your sheer existence, you are automatically loved. I want to reinforce this in you every single day of your life. I plan to be there for you and pray that God will allow me to watch you grow up. You deserve that love and fulfillment I didn’t receive from a man. You shouldn’t have to look elsewhere or build a father conceptually in your head. You deserve better.

 

0b320d42b9347cb5925ec04d2657675b

Even though I had your great-grandmother as my primary support and person angel, I grew up with a void in my life. I never seemed to truly get over not having my father or mother around. To this day, I am still learning to forgive them for their humanity and what I often saw as neglect growing up. I constantly sought validation through my youth. Not in huge ways, but I thought if I loved a little harder or performed a little better, that they would want to be in my life.  I want to instill you with the truth of self-worth. No matter what happens, you are worthy of love.

BFproj-126

With that being said, I want to focus on building your identity in this rapidly changing world. Value honesty and personal understanding/self-reflection above anything else. The two are very much intertwined but also invaluable separately. Honesty is what I expect from you and what I believe you should demand from any interaction. Personal understanding/reflection is what will help you be successful in the long-term.

3562ef82f7d6227bd237b32c1d776d3f

Honesty is valuable because it reduces that pain you deal with daily. This combined with self-reflection helps you develop emotional awareness. How do you feel when certain things happen? What thoughts cross your mind daily? What do certain emotions mean for how you should respond? Emotions are normal. It’s okay to cry, be mad, or genuinely laugh. Most importantly, it’s perfectly fine to love. Being able to properly recognize your emotions is the first step to the happiness but, that takes honesty, with yourself and others.

1a78bb92451c0bef5846e049e89bd1a3

As men, we often neglect our feelings and fail to listen to what our gut is telling us. That is toxic. It’s okay to emote. Process those emotions and feelings when they occur so that they don’t leak out in other more harmful ways. Don’t resort to drinking, drugs, or women because you are stressed or troubled. It doesn’t solve the pain. There are places and times that are not ideal to get angry or burst out into tears. Take those moments for what they are, take a moment and excuse yourself, then come back with a clear head. You strength will be your awareness and control of self. This allows you to accurately affect the world around you also.

USA-blak-dad

Also, it may not seem like it when you are young, but honesty saves you more headaches than lying does. Disappointment/anger is commonly a very temporary thing. If someone is disappointed or angry at you, it’s typically forgiven or forgotten shortly after. Talk things out and always offer your truth. People can either love it or leave it alone. If they don’t like it, it might have been better off without them. Most importantly, don’t lie to women for affection. They deserve choice and autonomy in your interactions the same way you do. It will hurt everyone involved. (We can talk more about it when you get older)Twin-twins-photographer-North-London-Hertforshire6

Most of all, I want you to take your time with life. Find out what you enjoy. Seek out opportunities to enjoy your own company instead of constantly looking to others. You will be surprised the things you learn about the world, looking inward first. Then, go out and conquer. Do what you heart tells you to and always send me a card or phone call after each success. I am proud of you for being you. I love you.

Dad

Advertisements

Author: Magnificent Miles

I'm a little dreamer with big dreams that wants to be far from ordinary and go anywhere that's not familiar. The Lord is my guide as I attempt to improve, not just my own, but everyone's quality of life.

4 thoughts on “Letter to My Son”

  1. A very powerful post. I do not know what it is like to move through the world under the expectations of male gender but from many conversations I’ve had, I think your letter beautifully addresses the seeds of toxic masculinity. The female gender has often been assigned all emotional labor and have been stigmatized as emotional, irrational, and hysterical. Even a breakdown of that last word hysterical portrays how deep that alignment is. But, here you are truly encouraging your future son to process emotion and understand that they are, in fact, invaluable parts of understanding and evaluating life. Awesome!

    1. Thank you. Especially after watching my father struggle with toxic masculinity and the way it affects my family, I want to ensure that my son doesnt repeat the family curse that I have been working so hard to break. Emotions are not gender specific. We have tendencies but I’ve definitely been hysterical, irrational, and emotional in my life. My son should be better than me by default. Thank you again for your comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s