Letters to Grey

Greyson Brooks,

Happy 3rd birthday. Naturally, I will only get to spend part of your birthday with you because I have to work. It is something that I hope I don't regret when I get older. I have been telling myself that you won't remember that I am gone on this day and we will have a nice party for you when I am home. To be honest, I feel guilty as hell. I feel guilty because I feel as if I often have to make these types of decisions. The type of decisions where I have to juggle our financial well being over lost memories. I have been telling myself that I will be around when it matters. The more it happens the more I find myself falling into the traps of doing exactly what my father did when I was young. At times, I feel lost in where I am leading us. I would imagine that a lot of fathers feel this way. Perhaps, this feeling is even more prominent to me because your birthday will always fall around Fathers Day. 

There will be times in your life where you will feel lost. You will wake up one morning and not truly understand where you are heading in life. That is ok. You just have to remember and remind yourself that your mother and I have given you the tools to fight through this feeling. Life isn't easy. It just is not. I, personally, feel at 36 that I still have no clue what I am doing at times. I am lucky that my parents were hard on me and forced me to grow up even when I did not want to grow up. That tough love is something that I still resent today. I am trying to find the balance between being firm and loving with you and your brothers. Your mother and I often times are just trying not to mess you guys up. LOL. We have no clue what we are doing half the time but we know our love for you three is immense. The love we have for each other and for all of you is what keeps us going. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. We yell, scream sometimes and argue. We are trying to figure this out. It is not easy. It is because we are not just fighting for each other we are fighting for you. What am saying is that life does not come with an instruction manual. You figure it out as you go through it. You can make anything work if you become a giver and work hard. 

You have to find balance in life. No one will ever give you anything and you have to make your own luck in life. People will find reasons to not like who you will become and what you stand for in life. You just have to realize that you are never as good as they say you are (there is always room for improvement) and you are never as bad as they say you are. Learn from the mistakes that you make and try not to make them again. If you do, try not make it a third time. You have to be unwavering in your convictions. People will tell you those convictions are wrong. Convictions can be wrong but not if you are truthful with yourself. 

At three years old, you are a bundle of joy and pain. You are the most affectionate child but in the next breath you are screaming at the top your lungs. You love copying and doing whatever your older brother, Noah, does. Your favorite movie is Wreck it Ralph. You love the color blue. You love trains. I mean, LOVE trains. You are fearless. I have seen you jump head first into the deep end of a pool with not knowing how to swim. You are obsessed with Honey Nut Cheerios. You do not eat dinner. It is probably the most frustrating thing about you in the evening. The funny thing about the fact that you don't eat dinner is that when I leave the house the last thing you typically say to me is "are you going to be home for dinner"? Your grin lights up my heart. You enjoy sitting in my lap and licking my face. I still have not figured out why you do that. We call you our Sour Patch Kid. You are sweet and sour. You are almost always the last kid to fall asleep at night. You also like baseball, scooters and your tricycle. 

I always like to end these letters with a bit of advice. This advice is generally stuff that I have figured out in 35 years of life. Find work that makes you happy. If finding that work can improve someone else life than you are heading in the right direction. Money and wealth will looks good but it will not keep you as comfortable as having a family. Do not be in a rush to get married. I got married to your mother a week before i turned 29. A good marriage can start at 21 or 41. Work hard and make yourself indispensable in what ever you do in life. Speak your mind even if it makes people feel uncomfortable. A lot of people spend a lot of time avoiding tough topics. Learn to apologize. There is nothing shameful admitting when you are wrong. The greatest thing I have learned is to say I am sorry when I am wrong and when it is tough to do so. To paraphrase John Mayer, do not worry about being 'discovered'; discover what you want to do. Love people. I mean, really, love people. If you do then you will never objectify them. When everyone else zigs then find a way to zag. Be different and never fall into the trap of trying to be like everyone else. Love God. All good things come from and through Him. Always remember, I love you. You can not lose me. I will always be here.



tim riddick