Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy birthday, Aydin; indulge me for a moment

Well, despite all your mom's objections, Aydin, you have turned 10. Yes, my son, today is your 10th birthday. And, on your special day, I have decided to steal an idea from my brother, Ben, and offer you some advice. Who knows buddy, I may not always be there when you need it. So please, take this all to heart. 

Never give up: You, above everyone else knows what this means. You came into this world with the decision that you are going to take your time to do anything. You took longer to walk, longer to potty train, and longer to talk. In fact, it was several years after you were born that you were finally able to string together words in an understandable sentence. 

Your speech was so delayed that you had your mother and I concerned that there must be something wrong with you. Yet, here you are today, talking. Why? Because we never gave up on you, and neither did you. So don't ever give up, my son, no matter how hard it is. 

Embrace you inner child: Deep down, in all of us, is that child who never grew up. It is our Peter Pan wanting desperately to get back to Nevernever Land. And right now, you have the spirit of Peter Pan coursing through your veins. Your imagination is great and so is your fun-filled spirit. Don't give up on that. Never forget that we all are kids at heart. Yes, even your grumpy old Dad. 

Never lose your creative spirit: Throughout your life, your are going to face challenges that will make you want to give it all up. Never do that. Never give it up. Inside all of us is a spirit that makes us want to create and do neat and amazing things. Some of us let it go, but not you. Within you is so much creativity, so much talent, don't lose it. Never let life beat you down so bad you give it all up.

Get back up: You will face things that are going to knock you flat on your rear. Get. Back. Up. Never let it hold you down. Fight with everything you have to get back up. Your name, Aydin Kai, means Fire Warrior, embrace that warrior spirit and never let anything hold you down. 

Don't give up on love: Although you are still too young to understand what this means, never give up on love. You will get your heart broken, stomped on, ripped from your chest and thrown under a bus, but don't give up on love. Because one day, one magical day, she will walk in, she will smile, and she will ask if the seat next to you is taken. And your world will be turned upside down. You won't be expecting it, you won't know what to look for, but it will happen. Never give up on love, son, because it won't give up on you.

Own your life: No matter what happens to you, only you can control how you breathe, react, and take action. Only you can control how you live your life. Only you can control if you OWN your life. Look at me, bud, I quit smoking, then I graduated from college, now I am losing weight. I am OWNing my life every day and so should you. Never let other things control you. Take ownership of your life.

Remember where you came from: You have a heritage that is full of amazing people. War vets, firefighters, writers, musicians, master craftsman and more. Don't forget that. Embrace it. Learn about your heritage, learn about where you come from. From that knowledge, you will be able to draw upon so many great things. 

Show respect to others: This is something that seems to come naturally to you. Sure, you pop off every once in awhile with a phrase or two that gets my attention in a most negative way, but, for the most part, you show respect. I have seen kids in this world do some horribly cruel things, but not you. No, instead you are kind to this around you, you show respect to adults, and you understand what it means to be nice to all things. Don't ever lose this, my boy. 

So there you go, some words of advice from your ol' man. I could ramble for a long time, but I think this is enough for this year. And who knows, I may not be around when you need me most. So instead, please take these words to heart. Read them when you need to and know that no matter what, I am always there for you.

I love you little buddy, Happy Birthday.