Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Letter to my nephew/godchild

(Repost from 05 February 2007)

Young Man,

As you come from intelligent stock, I will tell you now that your childhood may be ...different. It has always been the fate of those blessed with a keen intellect to see past the hypocrisies that adults subscribe to. Trust me when I say there is a reason for it. You will understand when you are older. And mayhap you will understand your parents when they are forced to indulge in it. It is at these times that they will need your understanding the most.

The world is wide and there is so much of it to see, to experience. But not all of it is fun and gooey yumminess. You can scrape your knees, bump your head on something. Eat something disagreeable. Trust me: there may come a time when you can't tell heartburn from a heart attack, so be prepared. There might even be a time when the pain of heartbreak will show itself as a literal blow to the heart.

I know what it's like. Your mother too. So don't dismiss her too readily when she asks for you to share your burdens. Moms can get irritating, but she's been a friend to me and I know her. You can cut her some slack. Better yet, you can read her poetry. She makes great songs. Yes, better than the pap you'll be listening to when you hit your teens.

You will be a handsome man. Take care of your face, your teeth, your hands, your gut and your litel totoy. Take equal care of the hearts that are entrusted to you. Women are wondrous creatures, at once lovely and fragile and soft and strong. You'll want that strength and softness at your side when your own battles leave you weary of living. You'll ask yourself ten times a day just what you did to deserve the beatific vision holding your arm as you walk to the dance. But if you break a woman's heart you will make it harder for your unborn brother to score and you will disappoint me. Trust me on this. Women are not pretty when you are the cause of their suffering.
Study hard and study well but don't forget to have fun. There will come a time when you may be forced to choose between college and something you love to do. Think well before you make your choice.

God, by the way, is a matter between you and Him. So try not to be holier than thou. Many people wrestle with what they think God should be, with what their pastors and priests tell them God should be, and what God is trying to show them. Be mad at the sin, and try to cut the sinner a little slack. That sinner may be a friend, and you will reach an age when friends are at a premium.

Take from me only my facility for English and my eye for the ladies. The rest of my baggage remains with me. Carry them at the risk of being labelled a self-absorbed pompous ass.

Take your naps and your medicine. Eat veggies: they'll do you good in the long run. Drink milk. And take up some form of exercise and stick to it.

I see a grand future with you in it. Make it so.


Your Doting Uncle Dex

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