Category Archives: Letters to My Boys

Letter To My Boys #1: Because…

My sons,

It’s well after midnight, and you’re both sleeping the sleep of the innocents. This, despite the fact that both of you are hardly innocent of everything; those cookies did not eat themselves, after all. But on the whole, I love that your notion of guilt might revolve around the cookie jar, rather than around things you will find yourself feeling guilty about a few decades from now.

For example, you might find yourself feeling guilty about divorce. Purely hypothetical, of course, but you might find yourself watching over your sons — my grandsons — late at night feeling guilty that you could not, despite your best intentions, have provided them with a solid, stable, two-parent nuclear family with a dog and white picket fences. Then you might do things like write blogposts that no one may read, ever.

So that’s my excuse, boys, on why these pixels must suffer. There’s so much I wish I could transfer from my head to yours, largely because I wish you could avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made, in the hopes that you would make your own mistakes rather than revisiting the sins of the father. There’s the first “Because”. I write these words because I think that maybe, maybe, when you’re both old enough to have these apply to your lives, you might take something away from them.

The second “Because” is that I’m better at communicating this way, indirectly, somewhat impersonally, and quite possibly without effect. It has to do with being a man. Well, not just a man, I suppose, since the world is filled with great men who have no trouble expressing emotions and hopes and dreams and pride and love to their progeny. Maybe it has to do with being me: an immigrant product of Asian parents whose own father might charitably be called “emotionally stunted” by Western standards. Whatever the excuse, there’s the second “Because”.

The third “Because” is that tomorrow is not promised. And I’m not sure that I’ll ever have the chance to explain my reasons for some of the things I’m making you do, and some of the things I will be making you do in the future. I know the teenage years are around the corner, and you two may find none of my reasons worth a damn. I hope, I suppose, that because you’re both extremely intelligent boys, your teenage selves might read some of these things and at least understand the reasoning.

Anyhow… enough of excuse making and prefatory remarks. From the next post on, let’s get into some substance, shall we?

I love you guys. So much. You’re at least half of the reason why I do anything at all (I’ll explain that in a future post) and the purpose of my life.

-Dad