For Our Sons


I had to… Call it self medication. I couldn’t do it anymore, it was killing me. Killing us.  

Humans are blessed with the longest childhood and I was missing all of it.

I decided you would be adventurers, I decided you would be kings. I decided we would STEAL the time.

And we did.

I managed the things that don’t exist for a child. The fear, the money, the pending changes. You managed the real things. The fireflies, the sticks, the stones and the flashlights.

And we explored. We explored indoors. We explored outdoors. We discovered. And your father fell in love with life again.

This summer there was not a luckier man in Texas. I watched as the 3 of you were perplexed by first a raw egg, (forgive us floor) a boiled egg, a fried egg and a poached egg. You stared at spiders, snakes, leaves and mushrooms. You built fires. You caught fish. You marveled at all of this. I marveled at all of you.

You asked questions I couldn’t answer.

Through protests and rolling eyes I taught. My heart smiled as you would dismiss me. I couldn’t help but laugh as the 3 of you would complain about “learning during the summer!”. It was reaching you, this advice through action. Each morning as the screens faded a little further away your eyes lit up a little more.

We talked. And I listened to the men in my life. I listened to the grandfather of my youth. I listened to the father of my youth. My mind completed this giant lifetime of a circle. I again heard their advice. Although you’ll roll your eyes and laugh at your father’s sincerity, I know you’ll hear mine.

Boys, fall in love with living. LOVE this thing. Love this random, magical, unexplainable experience. Wake up every morning and stare into this magic. Meditate on it. Life can feel impossibly hard. If you’re in a true love affair with living, impossibly hard is manageable.  

Surround yourself with the best. They will challenge you. Master their great ideas, make them your own. Pay attention to how they manage their failures. Practice. Prepare.  

Be greedy with curiosity. Seek. SEEK. Explore this thing. Explore this place as if you just landed. We are and have always been in Paradise. Remember it everyday. Spaceship Earth, spinning through the universe. This lifetime won’t be long enough to see it all. Try, boys.

Create. Embrace the “new bark”.   Draw. Write. Carve. Stack. Build. Do it frequently. Watch how your art changes. Watch how your art changes you. You win in the journey. Find creative solutions. Reason. It’s all art.        

Be strong. Train your mind. If you’re not bewildered by this place then train your mind harder. Train your body. Build genuine strength. Feel strong. Walk strong. Attempt something you believed was impossible. Enjoy preparedness.

Help. You’ll know when. Slow down and be precise. Don’t panic. Control the fear. Help. You’ve had several heroes in your life. Pay that forward.

There’s not enough paper in Texas for me to write everything that I need to say to you. I know that I’ll never feel like I’ve given you enough advice. I know the three of you are ready to go on the hike and be done with your proof listening so let me just say this. STEAL time, boys. Steal time with yourself and with your loved ones. You’ll never regret it. It will be hard and take great courage. STEAL time.