My wife and I are in the home stretch of our pregnancy. We are about 10 weeks away from meeting our little boy for the first time. God, I can’t fucking wait. This is the greatest gift I have ever received. As we approach, I constantly think about how his personality and interests will develop. What is he going to love? Will he be funny? Will he be quirky, like me? Will he be an athlete? Will he be artistic, like my sister Ashley? There are so many questions as to how this awesome little dude will turn out. My favorite quirk about my wife and I is that when we buy him something, we tell ourselves “he is going to love that,” as if we know what will spark his interest. I do know one thing, I will do my best to not blink because I don’t want to miss any part of his development as a person.
With all that being said, there are certain life lessons that I plan to beat into Finn’s head from an early age. Not literally, so relax and don’t be the asshole who takes that out of context.
5. It is ok to lose, as long as you give 110%
I don’t ever want to be that father who scolds my son because he makes a bad play or loses a game. If I ever do, I want you to pour gasoline on me and light me on fire. I won’t press charges because I will deserve it. I firmly believe you learn much more from losing than from winning. How many assholes do you know who run their mouth when they win? What happens to those same assholes when they lose? They don’t know how to handle it. They get angry. They lose their cool. They find others to blame for their own shortcomings. I don’t ever want Finn to feel like he is a failure because he came up short in something. Sometimes your best is not good enough. That is ok. No matter what you do, put your heart in it. Put your best foot forward with it. If you give your absolute best, the rest will take care of itself.
4. You can have feelings, it doesn’t make you any less of a man
I was at my nephews flag football game a few years ago. This story kind of plays hand in hand with number 5 and 4. This kid was snapping the ball and kept messing up during warmups. His dad (also the coach) started fucking cursing at him as if this 7-8 year old child just decided cooking meth was a good idea. Homie, how about relax huh? The kid began to cry because his dad probably just embarrassed him. To make matters worse, he said his son should be ashamed of himself for acting like a girl. I wanted to break this guy’s neck. I would have probably been doing that kid a favor. One of the stereotypes about men that bothers me more than anything is the asshole who says to hide your emotions. Oh, you mean hide how I feel? No thank you. You don’t have the right to tell me how I feel and no one has the right to tell my son how he should he feel. If something upsets him and he cries, I will be there for him. If something great happens and he cries, I will be there for him. You know what I love about the male species? Too many men put on a front of bravado and toughness. Deep down, those same men are a bunch of bitches. You can have feelings. However, you need to control your emotions at times and not let them get the best of you. Someone should’ve probably told this butthole of a father that.
3. Don’t kiss and tell (Treat women with respect)
There is nothing worse than the douche canoe who walks in the room and says “hey bro, I fucked the hell out that girl the other night. Bruh, she had an ass like no other.” You just sound like a moron. I remember in high school when someone asked if I had “fucked” my girlfriend, who is now my wife. I refused to answer the question. That person also happens to be a good friend of mine now ironically. At the time, this person and I did not get along at all. I wanted to punch him for asking me that question. I was never comfortable talking about that. Especially in high school where a girl’s reputation is so much more fragile when it comes to sex. I want my son to make sure to tell the girl he is with that she is beautiful. I want him to understand that a relationship is not all about sex and the physicality. If it is, it won’t last. Treat women with respect and you will find the right one. I did.
2. Treat People with Dignity and Respect
I am not the type of person who is Mr. Keep the Peace. So if someone wrongs you, disrespects you or treats you poorly, gloves off. Do what you have to do to protect yourself. Be smart about it though. However, I don’t ever want my son to look down at someone who is homeless, gay, black or different from him in any way. Don’t ever think less of a person based something that may be beyond their control. What matters is the content of someone’s character. Embrace that person. Highlight what makes them unique. Don’t tear that down. Put yourself in other people’s shoes before you start making assumptions about someone. You have no idea what that person has been through. I want my son to embrace the differences in people. That brings me to my next point.
1. Always Be Yourself
The biggest lesson I want my son to know is that no matter what, I will always love him. He can be straight. He can be gay. He can be nerdy. He can be sporty. He can be Christian. He can be Muslim. He can be whatever the fuck he wants to be. I will love him no matter what. Sure, my wife and I will raise him as we see fit in terms of beliefs. We will give him a foundation to be successful. We plan on raising him to be Catholic. But if he decides when he is older that he doesn’t believe in God or loves the Judaism, I am not arrogant enough to say he is wrong. I want him to always be who he is. Don’t hide that from anyone. If people don’t like him, fuck those people. In the words of the great George Feeny, “if you let people’s perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as person.” You only get one shot at this life. Make the most of it. The only way you can do that is by being yourself. For me personally, I have way more friends now than I did in high school when I was so damn insecure about who I was. I reached a point where I just didn’t care what people thought anymore. Once I let my personality shine through, people started to like me more. I will teach Finn the same. People will like you more when you’re not trying to be what you think they want you to be.