Dear Son, This Is What I Need You To Know As You Head Out On Your Own

by Kimberly Valzania
Originally Published: 
Kimberly Valzania

Dear Son,

You are a man now, yes.

But I am still your mother. And as you well know, I will always have something to say.

Because I love you.

As you venture off into your bold journey through life, remember to savor the love you sow, wherever you go. And you do indeed sow love — I’ve seen it. Continue to champion the noble efforts of others. Be sure to show kindness and work to uncover the good, for there is so much good in people, places, animals, and things.

Your job is not your life. Developing your life is your job, and yours alone. It is not the job of others to make sure that you are happy and fulfilled.

Be an active participant in government. Vote. If you have a vision for the future, share it. The future does not conjure itself. It takes the young, the willing, the smart, and the able. Most of us oldies are jaded by now, so step in and step up.

If she says no, it means no. Don’t sulk. She needs to trust your motives. She needs to give herself to you freely. Her heart is as fragile as yours. Strive to put her pleasure before your own. Yes, always.

Tell her you love her. Your actions will show her, that’s true, but say the words out loud. She needs to hear them more often than you think. Pull her in when you say it, and don’t avoid her eyes.

Do what is right and honest when you are faced with a choice. Don’t be a sneak. No one likes a sneak.

If you’re worried or uncertain, ask yourself what your father would do. Because you know what he would do, and that will give you strength. Unless it involves fixing something. If that is the case, don’t do what your father would do. Call someone instead.

Scientologists are wackos. If you are looking for religion, go for a hike outside. You just might find God in the woods, amid the trees and bees.

Being a man doesn’t automatically mean you’re in charge. If you understand that, you will understand half of what life has to offer. Yes, only half. The other stuff you’ll have to figure out along the way.

Show your feelings. It’s okay. It’s always okay to show sensitivity. Son, you are not made of stone.

Give a speech. Make it a good one. And by good one, what I mean to say is make sure it incorporates a poignant, personal anecdote and something humorous. Tie it all together at the end.

Be slow to anger, and save it. Save your anger for the important stuff. Judge not, lest you be judged. Be part of a solution. Any solution.

Lift weights a couple of times a week. And for heaven’s sake, eat some spinach.

Remember that there are, indeed, a variety of spices other than red pepper flakes.

Your work ethic will tell the world more about you than your words or your money ever will.

Wear a suit that fits.

If babies enter the still frames of your life, playfully hog them. Hold them. Change them. Rock them. Feed them. Sing to them. Whisk them away. Become a human recliner and let them sleep on your chest while you kick back and watch sports. Do this while the beautiful lady of the house who made you a daddy takes her naps. That beautiful lady will need lots of naps. This is where your work ethic will come in handy.

Make good on your promises.

Keep writing. Writing feeds and waters your soul. You’ve been a writer since you were able to hold a pencil, and I still have all of your unpublished masterpieces to prove it.

Do not cultivate any kind of belly, beer or otherwise. It doesn’t matter how small. Back away from the bar or the buffet, and go do something else.

Take risks. Calculated ones. Jump. Dive. Plunge. Just go there, down the path that is littered with challenges big and small. Risk your heart, risk your security, risk it all. Be vulnerable. Do it while you’re young.

Navy blue looks great on everyone, especially you, but of course when I look at you, I am blinded by stars, so I’m probably not the one to ask.

Travel. Visit the whole, wide, vast, and wondrous world.

Life’s many doors will open if you remain open. When facing adversity, try to think about what the problem is trying to teach you. It is indeed the human way to take the easy way out of bad situations. Sometimes we must remember to rail against the human way. The easy way out is forever the way of cowards and fools.

Inside your heart, carry with you the good, honest, decent boy you’ve always been.

Be yourself.

Call home. Come home. Call me — it’s not a crime. I’m your mother, and I love you.

Don’t forget, I was there when you toted your white, stuffed “puppy” friend around under your arm. I tucked you and that little puppy into bed each night, covering both of you with dinosaur kisses. And I was there when you lost him at the mall. I lead the frantic search to find him, and I didn’t let you give up until we did.

Dear son, please know that if you are ever lost out there in the world, I will help you find yourself again.

Because I am your mother, and I will always have your back.

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