With all the excitement of your upcoming birth I have started to think of what I want you to experience. As my mind raced, I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood. I remembered playing t-ball and softball, raking leaves for hours, playing HORSE, and eating homemade doughnuts. The one thing these all have in common is they all involved my father, your grandfather. I can’t help but pause to hold back tears as I realize you will never get to experience his love in real life. You will never hear him yell “WHEELS!” as you round the bases and you will never hear a pep talk before your basketball game-which was always followed with a post-game play-by-play.
You will get to see photographs of your grandpa, but you will never get to see his smile face-to-face. You will never feel his loving embrace as he hugs you. You will never hear his laugh. You will never hear his voice. You will never get to experience the most amazing man I have ever known.
Yes, you will have a lot of people here on earth that will love you and care for you. You will still have great memories. This is where my promise to you comes in.
I promise to teach you everything he taught me. I will make you do things that you don’t want to do, and you will learn from it. I will make you mad, frustrated, and embarrassed—grandpa would want me to. I will teach you how to lose gracefully. I will make homemade doughnuts–not that they are amazing, just a memory I want to share with you. I will teach you a hook shot–a shot you will never actually do, but he made it feel important to me.
I will let you fail–you need learn how to pick yourself up and grow. You will still get pep talks and post-game talks regardless of the sport. I will make you feel like you are the most important person. I will always smile when you make me proud. I will tell you when you make me proud. I will also let you know when you disappoint me-BUT in a decent manner.
I would like to reiterate the fact that I will embarrass you. Just be prepared. I promise to take you on vacation and to see the world. I promise to allow you to have pets and you will be counted on to take care of them.
I will respect you. I will expect respect in return. I promise to protect you from scary things. I want you to dream. I want you to talk to me. I will be there for you, but I will not be your best friend. I promise to love and respect your father. I promise to teach you what love is and what it means.
Most of all, I promise to love you with all of my heart.