Advice on becoming… to Dylan,
Only a couple of days ago, or it seems like it, a nurse placed you in my arms at Florida hospital, triggering the most intense peak moment I EVER EXPERIENCED in my 62 years of breathing (chemtrails, lol). Ever since that crazy moment which lasted a only few seconds (but seemed like a trip to the end of the universe and back), I feel a kind’ of calm joy every time I see you, think about you, or even just hear your name.
Today you’ll be entering the magical, mysterious, inevitable season of a boy’s life where the line between childhood and manhood begins to blur with increasing rapidity; welcome to the teenage years. Oh my! Oh no… Zits.
I know you’re ready for it (since there’s no going back anyway), and that you see every birthday like the Cats see a new shot clock… no big deal just more time to score (for you, some cool stuff). And, the last thing they/you want to hear is life advice from Calipari/dad. Is that really normal?
To me, you seem pretty well adjusted whether you’re in school, at home, with friends, or just chillin’ alone in raptured silence staring at your best friend… the iphone6s (my new nemesis). Congratulations, you’re a normal 13-year old.
If anything I’m the one who’s a little unsure about the calendar’s blistering pace these last few years, even though it would be pretty safe to say that in the last 11 or so… not much has changed with us. I actually like that.
Instead of the typical dynamic family life most kids your age are experiencing as their parents mature while their status and income grow as they gain life and work experience; it was your rotten luck to land in a family that if it’s not standing still, it’s prolly rolling downhill. As they say on Facebook, well… it’s complicated.
Had I any inkling of YOU in my future 17 years ago, I expect some careless and reckless financial decisions could easily have been avoided and likely left you today pondering a very comfortable legacy.
But then, that was then and this is NOW. Yesterday is in the books and tomorrow is only a possibility, but we still have to live our lives in the NOW. And when I think about it, I wouldn’t change a thing, since what I’ve gotten in the deal is 13 years and nine months with you in my life. Ok, maybe I’d change one or two things, but really… I couldn’t ask for any more.
Of course, you know me well enough to know that I ain’t ever been or gonna be the average dad (that other word for plain normal head of household). I suppose my life has been lived in reverse… sort of a riches to rags story.
Before I was forty five, I had traveled extensively and made lot’s of money, lived a high octane life and was fit as any fifty year old walking the planet. Everyone else my age was busy raising kids, struggling to make ends meet, and hoping and planning for the day they could retire and travel. Not me. Well… you know the rest of that story.
And then along comes you.
That one experience that makes us all human… the experience of bringing a child into being and watching them grow. The years fly by faster than you can count, but I’ll always remember them like yesterday. The best years of my life.
I’m so proud of the brilliant mind you’re beginning to develop. I love it that you still listen to me, or at least do a good job of faking it. You have a winning personality. Never stop wanting to learn, always question authority, and think for yourself instead of mindlessly following the pack.
Stay confident but humble and forget about bragging. In the end, no one else will care. Always keep learning… it is one of the greatest joys of living. Be considerate and helpful to others, and you will someday find out how you fit into the bigger picture of the world at large.
I’m happy that you want to run, and I know in my heart that if you decide to give it 100% of your effort, very good things will soon begin to happen for you. Training can be fun as much as it can be a nuisance, but once you experience how far a little training each day can reward you later, you’ll be hooked for life. Running is what I miss the most of my past life, and that includes traveling and motorcycling the world. And remember this about running, winning isn’t everything… giving your best is.
Always keep in mind that NO MATTER WHAT, you are the most important part of my life, and being your father has been the single greatest achievement in my life. Nothing keeps me breathing fresh chemtrails (lol) more than the thought of being your dad.
You alone taught me how to love unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. An important life lesson, and one I had never understood even though I saw my parents act that way all my life. Before you, I thought love was strictly conditional. But there’s a profound truth in parenting that others cannot begin to understand or imagine. I’m a lucky man to have had those eyes forced open by your mother, rest her soul. Never forget her… she is the biggest reason our life together has been possible.
In the next few years you’ll learn some scary and exciting things about yourself and others around you. You might see your mood swing from good to bad, and back without reason. Feel aches and pain you hadn’t felt before. See your body, voice, and attitude about things change before you even know it, and experience all kinds new relationships and experiences.
Stay in the moment and connected to me in heart and mind, and we (with Stefanie too) will help you make your teenage years a no brainer.
life is life.
buy the ticket, take the ride.
at the end of the day… it is what it is, and that’s all it is.
no worries, but
it’s on you
to change tomorrow
you have to start NOW
to change next week, next year, or 10 years from now
the first step is always now
so, now is always the time. don’t wait
you won’t regret it
whatever it is
NOW is the time.
Dyl, you know I’ll always want the best for you. Always.
I remember being a teenager like it was yesterday. Those years were happy and fun, and I think its because my parents allowed me to be a teenager. I want the same for you. Have fun, but be responsible…
Don’t let anyone but you define who you are. Set your bar higher, never be satisfied with the status quo. Expecting too little of yourself is a guarantee that that’s what you’ll get.
Don’t change who you are and never pretend to be someone you’re not. Remember where you came from. In Kentucky that translates to,
“you gotta dance with the one that brung ya’.”
For now, happy thirteenth my little man. Naw, I mean my man.
With All My Love… Dad, and by proxy Stefanie.