You do not exist today, and you may never. But, my father broke his promises more than he kept them and my mom died much too young, so I feel is it important to leave a lasting record of my promise to you. Regardless of how you come to be part of my life, this is my promise to you.
Life will not always be easy, of that I’m sure. You will know suffering, you will know pain and you will know sorrow. People you love and trust, myself included, will let you down from time to time. People you love may hurt you without even realizing it. People you love may leave the world before you are ready to say goodbye. What matters is how you carry on through these trials. How you choose to deal with the situation and how you choose to raise up the next day.
You can be whatever you want to be. I promise you we will give you ever opportunity to reach for the stars, to become the person you want to be. You may love rugby like you dad, art like your grandmother, crafts like your auntie, dogs like me, hockey like your uncles or gardening like your g-ma. Regardless of what your passion is, we will ensure you can pursue it.
Yet, we will not just hand you everything. You will earn your allowance and you will have to save your loonies and toonies to buy the newest toy, or work a part-time job as a teenager to be able to buy the brand name clothes that all your friends are wearing. We will do this so that you understand the responsibility of money and finances. This is a lesson which will serve you well throughout life.
When you are out of line, we will tell you. We will not accept failure for the sake of laziness. We will not tolerate disrespect or rudeness without cause. Sometimes you might hate us for this, but that’s okay because we will do this out of love and we will never push you too hard. We will always be there to pick up the pieces when you need us.
I promise we will always be proud of your accomplishments. The small ones and the big ones. I will always be the one cheering the loudest when you score a goal, or win an award. They will not all come easily, so be proud of your successes. Do not be arrogant, but do be proud.
We will allow you to make your own decisions, even when we don’t agree with them. If you choose to wear red and pink together, or if you to try smoking pot, or if you quit your job, we will accept these decisions as yours to make. But, remember, we promise to be there when you need us. We will provide you with advice and support whenever you need it.
Love unconditionally. You may get hurt every now and again, but it’s worth it! You will never regret loving.
When you fall down and scrape your knee, we will be there to pick you up and kiss you better.
Remember, most of the time, the seemingly big things aren’t so big. Don’t stress over them. If you cannot change it, then let it go. If you can make a positive change, then take the steps necessary to do it. Do not let someone tell you, you cannot achieve your dreams. Be confident.
Knowledge is paramount. Read. Read for pleasure. Read for academics. Read to expand your horizons. Experience new things. Be adventurous. Take risks. Experience different cultures. Travel the world.
Have integrity. Hold true to yourself. Be honest. Keep your commitments. I promise you, you cannot go wrong in life if you have integrity.
Smile. A bad day can always be made better with a smile. Sing to the world, or sing when no-one is around (if you get my singing talents). Dance, have fun and be goofy. Laughter is the best medicine. A smile can light up a room.
Take care of yourself. Eat well. Learn to cook from scratch. Shop on the outside of the grocery store. Exercise. Indulge in the sweeter things every now and again. Find beauty in the simple things. Live whole-heartedly. Love yourself and the rest will follow.
We will constantly encourage you to make a positive contribution to the world. We will encourage you to be a better person and to care for those in need. Buy someone a meal if they look hungry, volunteer at a homeless shelter or spend time visiting seniors. Have compassion for others. Support those who need it.
Follow your dreams and dedicate your life to a better tomorrow. You may want to be a structural engineer, or an astronaut, or an electrician, or a doctor, or a teacher, or maybe a garbage truck driver. Whatever you want to do with your life, follow your dreams, work hard and make them a reality. No-one else will do it for you, so you need to pick up your socks and put in the work necessary to fulfill your dreams. Not everything comes easy, so be prepared to put in the work to make your dreams come true.
Our love runs deep and will never expire. No matter what choices you make in life, we will be there. We will act as your guiding compass when you need one. We will offer advice when you want some. And I promise you, you will always know love.
Put your best foot forward. First impressions last a lifetime. Dress well. Do not wear your jeans around your knees – you will look like an idiot and then be treated like one. Brush your teeth – no-one likes bad breath or cavities.
We accept you and love you regardless of who you love. We will open our hearts and our home to the love of your life.
When an opportunity arises, take it! Make the most of it!
You will always be welcome in our home. Our home will always be a safe place where you will be surrounded by love and affection.
Learn to stand on your own two feet, and you will be able to deal with bump the world throws at you. Whether you are a boy or a girl, you will be self-sufficient and able to take care of yourself. You will be able to weather a bad day and see the rainbow at the end, even if it’s just a tiny rainbow in the far off distance. Remember there is always hope.
We will forgive your mistakes. Everyone makes them, and you will too. Remember, to take responsibility for your mistakes and own up to them. People are more forgiving than you may expect.
Yes, these expectations are lofty, but if you don’t strive to be the best, then you never will be. Reach for the stars, and make them yours! You can be and do anything you put your mind to. And, I promise you, we will be here no matter what.
Most importantly, know that you are loved. Unconditionally loved. You will never experience a day, an hour or even a millisecond without love. You’re Dad and I will always love you, through the good times and the bad. Whether I’m right beside you, or on the other side of the world, or no longer alive, I promise you will always feel my unconditional love for you.
I love to read. I always have. I love everything about real books – the way the feel, the way they smell, the way they sound when I flip a page, the way that if I read for too long my eyes start to burn just a little bit. My Kobo just cannot compete with the way a real book satisfies me deep into my soul.
So, just how deep is my books addiction/obsession?
- I am addicted to buying books. My addiction runs so deep that a running joke between me and most people I know is that I could have worse addictions – I could drink, I could smoke, I could do crack-cocaine. But instead I choose to spend way too much money on books.
- When I have free time I’ll often find myself wondering around bookstores buying more books than I’ll ever actually be able to read. And, if I cannot make it to a book store, you might find my cruising online bookstores like Amazon or Chapters. So much so, that every now and again my husband will jokingly forbid me from buying new books until I read some of the books I have at home.
- When we bought our new family home, I demanded that we turn a large empty wall in our basement into bookshelves. My wall of books would hold my ever-growing collection including those that I’ve carting around Western Canada from school to school and city to city in boxes since my childhood. I don’t think I’ve ever actually parted with a book in my life.
- Even with my wall of books in the basement, I still seem to have stacks of books in every room in our house. And no matter how hard I try to keep them organized on the shelves in the basement, it’s almost like they have legs and follow me around the house begging to be read.
- I have so many unread books lying around the house that the odd time I get caught without a birthday gift and don’t have time to go shopping, I can always quickly wrap up a couple of books as a gift.
- Every Christmas I buy multiple copies of my favourite book from the year and give the book to everyone I know.
- Everywhere I travel I buy books much to my husband’s eye rolling (he usually gets stuck carrying them around all day in our daypack…lucky him). I always end up carting home books from significant world sites – Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Central Park, Vimy Ridge, Panama Canal, the High Line, Vesa Museum, etc. I could always just buy them, or something similar, and possibly for a cheaper price, online when I get home. But it’s just not the same as buying them from the actual landmark.
- The best gift I can ever receive is a good book, but not just any book that someone randomly picked up off the shelf. The book must be one that the person was touched by and they were compelled to share. As much as I want to read the book, I want to hear the story about how the book impacted the person giving it to me.
- By the age of 10 my mom let me start reading her John Grisham’s books because I had finished all the books for my age category that even remotely interested me. (I loved them, but I really struggled with The Chamber as a young tween – it as just a bit too heavy of a topic for this 10-year-old and is actually the only book I have ever started reading but did not finish).
- I always give books as baby gifts, as I firmly believe every child deserves the deep pleasure of reading and you can never start too early. I have saved my childhood books and even bought new books for my future kids, years before we were actively trying to have kids.
When I’m working, I tend not to read for pleasure because at work I spend my days glued to a computer reading technical work stuff – can you say boring? So, the last thing I want to do when I get home is read some more. But, when I have ample free time, usually on vacations and now that I’m on a medical leave from work, I always have a book in my hands or at least within an arm’s reach.