Seven.

My Darling Son,

Today you are seven years old. The past year has brought challenges that no one could have foreseen and that you certainly do not deserve, but yet you stand tall, bright, and proud. A shining example of what humanity can and should be, you are kind, caring, loving, creative, intelligent, imaginative, empathetic, sincere, determined, hopeful, and happy. The list goes on longer than eternity but the fact remains that I am SO proud of you and SO honored to be your father.

I have watched you grow into someone who will make this world far better for everyone than I would have ever thought possible. I know this because you already have such an enormous impact on the small scale of our family. You are unquestionably the best and most perfect big brother that your sister could ever ask for. Your mere presence lights up the hearts and minds of everyone you meet, instantly making the room brighter. And your unflinching optimism in the face of the darkness of the present moment reveals glimpses of your softness and strength.

Even though I know the world will not always be kind to you – and in many ways it has already shown this – I know you have what it takes to persevere while cherishing and nurturing the softness and light within you that makes you whole. And if you ever start to feel that light dim or that softness grow cold, just know all you have to do is turn back toward me. I will hold you in my arms and remind you of who you truly are. 

If you keep one thing with you always please let it be this: Never EVER lose these parts of yourself. They are the foundations of love for yourself and for all of humanity, and you hold them in such vast and rare amounts that will carry you to the highest of places and be your guiding lights when you think you’ve lost your way. Be you, and be no one else.

I love you.

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