Fourteen Years Later He’s Looking For Better Advice

What wisdom is contained within these wagon wheels.

What wisdom is contained within these wagon wheels.

Fourteen years later your father is still looking for better advice to give you.

Yeah, I know that is an odd way to begin a post and it is not how my teacher’s taught me to write but you have learned your dad has his own way of doing things.

Technically you are not yet fourteen but in less than a hour you will be and I will stare at you and wonder as I always do why time must run at break neck speed.

I started blogging when you were about 3.5 so the first birthday posts hit around the time you hit four. If you knew you were on social media you’d be irritated because you don’t like it. “It is stupid and a waste of time.”

You know every time you say that I remind you about how “stupid social media” has been a significant source of income and a big part of about why you have clothes on your back and a roof over your head.

Every time I mention that you shrug your shoulders and I tell you life is filled with contradictions and moments where we discover we are willing to do things we don’t like because they have to be done.

The reasons why vary but they usually circle back to being done because they are tied into taking care of those we care about.

What Is The Best Advice To Give You?

This is all stream of consciousness and the only interruptions in my writing come from the moments where I backspace to correct an error. Part of that is because I want to bang this out before you midnight so I can come downstairs and join your sister in saying Happy Birthday first.

And part of it is because I am curious to see what comes top of mind.

There are lots of different things I could share with you. Lots of valuable advice, some of which you know and some of which you are tired of hearing from me.

But tonight what strikes me as being important are the words below.

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

I don’t know what prompted this but long ago you told me you would never get married and have made a point to remind me that you don’t like girls.

When I told you I didn’t care if you were you gay or straight and that you should hold off on making big declarations you told me you weren’t gay and then reiterated you don’t like girls.

I never thought you were gay and I never cared. We had two gay uncles who I loved and I would love you too but I don’t think you are gay because I see how you respond to certain scenes in movies.

And I recognize it because I used to respond the same way.

That is why I think you like girls. I think hormones and puberty are giving you funny feelings and it is easier to deny them.

I remember doing the same thing and then I remember the first time I really fooled around with a girl and it was a like a switch went off in my head.

Your old man won’t guarantee you’ll react the same way but I suspect it..

But I want to circle back to Russell’s words because I know your personality and I know you are cautious in many things.

It is a useful trait, especially when you add methodical and determined.

I promise one day you won’t be worried about whether you have enough time to finish the tests and people will be far more concerned about the quality of your work than whether you can regurgitate information in under 45 minutes.

Don’t let caution prevent you from taking a chance.

Jump Into The Void

There is a girl that teases you in school. You tell me it is because she is mean but it doesn’t sound like she is trying to be mean to me.

It sounds like she likes you. It sounds like she wants attention from you.

If things go as I suspect one day you’ll be interested in getting attention from girls too. Take a chance with that. Jump into the void.

Women will confound you. They will infuriate you and make you crazy. They will behave in ways that are indescribable, some of that will be good and some bad.

But some of them will open up parts and places of yourself you didn’t know about and there is merit in having those experiences.

Jump into the void and take a chance.

Don’t Jump Yet

Unless something crazy happens you won’t read this any time soon so some of this is sort of silly. But even though  I encourage you to jump into the void I hope you wait a bit.

There is no rush.

You have ample time to live and love.

There is a difference between jumping in the void now and doing so in ten years.

I am more worried about other things than that but as your father I think you as a whole.

Tomorrow I’ll probably write more of a birthday post that doesn’t focus on advice I don’t think you need now or are ready for yet.

Hell I am certainly not ready for you to start dating. It is hard enough to think about you entering high school but it is going to happen so I am starting to think about what might come along with it.

Thirty-five minutes of rambling about you is enough for now. Thirty-five minutes from now I’ll probably look at this and wonder why I didn’t come up with better advice because that is what parents do.

Happy almost birthday monster, do me a favor and try not to make the next year go as fast as this one did.



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  1. Irene December 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Waaaay back when I was around that age, I remember a book with a title something along the lines of “Notes to myself when I have a teenage daughter”. Your posts remind me of this; and the thought that your kids are lucky that they will have these notes/posts to read. 🙂

  2. Larry December 29, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Happy birthday to your son. I hope he follows at least some of your advice. Expecting a child to follow all of his/her parent’s advice is wishful thinking.

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