A Letter To My Son

Dear Adrian,

When I found out that I was going to be a father, I knew my life was going to change, but aside from the obvious responsibilities that come from parenthood, like making sure your kid is well fed and doesn’t roll out of their crib, I wasn’t sure how my life would look as a father. Friends and family tried to prepare me for the physical changes, like living in a constant state of sleep deprivation, but it was the internal changes that no one can truly ever anticipate.

Being a parent changes the very nature of your being. I've dedicated my life to working for the Rockaway community and you joining it makes it a little more special. I can focus on making the world a better place for you and go to sleep each night (or at least try) knowing that you will reap the benefits of my efforts. I’ve seen hundreds of youth in this community suffering due to things outside of their control, like their race, socioeconomic status, or education level. The struggle that these youths contended with inspired and motivated me to make a change for my friends and neighbors. Son, you were born into this community, just like me, and I promise you that I will continue to work so that you and your peers can grow up in a space that values your mind and body and works to keep you safe. I promise you that everything I do will be in hopes of creating a better world for you.

Adrian, one day you’re going to be an expecting father. When that day comes, I’ll sit you down and try and tell you of all the emotions that you’ll cycle through. I’ll tell you about the permanent butterflies that will live in your stomach from the time your wife tells you the good news until the moment you cut the cord. I’ll tell you about the fear you’ll feel every time that child is out of your sight. I tell you about the joy of looking into the eyes of a newborn and hearing them coo softly. But most importantly, I’ll try to explain what it means to love someone unconditionally. That type of love is so rare, but it’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever felt. I’ll try and explain how a tiny little bundle is able to create such a large change in a grown man. You are only a few weeks old, but you’ve given me the gift of a lifetime. I love you and I always will.