Monday, February 28, 2011

Open Letter to the Squidlets

Dear James, Hannah and Jonah,

Guys, I want to tell you something. Maybe a few things. Things that I sometimes whisper to you when you’re asleep, things that I think when you’re not around, and things you couldn’t possibly know I’m thinking. Or maybe you do.

First off, I love all three of you. There. That’s not going to change. You’re all so different, and changing faster than I can keep up, but even though I get distracted with making sure you guys are all bathing, eating and not beating each other up, I love you. Yes, I shout. More than I want to. And yes, sometimes I have to say “no” to you, but that doesn’t change the simple fact: I love you.

Love’s a pretty important part of life. No, man, I don’t mean the snogging that you aren’t supposed to see (and that makes you embarrassed) if you accidentally (on purpose) turn on the TV when the soapies are showing- not that love- I mean real love- that you are part of somebody’s life, and they are part of yours. You’re an extension of me. That might sound a little self-absorbed, but I can’t imagine a life without you. So there you have it: I may find it hard to express between stopping you from calling each other “doofus-head” or “monkey-face”, or while I’m checking to see that you’re not putting your dirty socks back on, but in case you ever doubt it: I love you.

I wish that I could be there all the time- sometimes it feels like you guys are a trapeze act, and I want to be your safety net, and that’s ok, but sometimes I have to trust that you’re learning how to swing, how to catch and even how to fall safely. I underestimate you. One of the best parts of watching you all growing up is when I see you doing something I’d never have thought was possible, whether it’s making a wise choice or managing to colour within the lines. Then I wonder at how you made that leap, and I feel like a spectator to something awesome.

Awesome. Yeah, that word gets tossed around more than fries in a fryer at McDonalds, but I do get caught dead in my tracks sometimes and go: Wow. These kids are awesome. That’s exactly how it should be. You teach me how to be impressed.

You also help me to understand my own fragility as a person, but also my strengths. I know that much of what we do is a response to our environments, a reaction to events and situations, and that can be a little scary when we can’t control it, but being your dad has shown me that I can be responsible. Sometimes. You’ve also helped to turn a microscope onto my frailties- my moods, temper, lack of self-control, and I hope that I’ve learned a little more about how to be a better person. I’m sorry- sometimes I do lose my cool- and I hope that you all understand that it doesn’t change the fact that I love you- not one little bit.

But I do want you to know that you are all incredible people. You’re not grown up quite yet, and you have lots to learn, but you’re so full of possibilities: gifts, talents, future. What a privilege to be a witness to that.

So don’t let other people mess with your confidence. When there’s teasing going on, keep telling yourself that you are bigger than that. Don’t listen to haters, and avoid cynicism. I know you all have a sense of humour, and that helps. I love seeing you laugh. Best feeling. Being able to laugh will chase away so many clouds. Promise.

I could go on and on, but I know you have short attention spans, so perhaps I’ll save some for another letter. Just wanted you guys to know I’m cheering you on, and loving you to bits.



  1. WOW! Scott.. this is an incredible letter... the raw emotion is tangible.. I wish other parents had the courage and ability to say what you say... yes, it did bring me to tears.. it reminds me of my childhood and what was lacking in my life.. I am so happy to see how you do not let life get in the way of your relationship with your kids.. You are an amazing father, dont ever doubt that, especially in the days when you think things are out of control or you feel like you dont do enough.. remember this simple fact.. YOU DO!


  2. Thank you. It's more a response to feeling like a doos every time I get cross and miss out on enjoying my time with them. I appreciate the encouragement, though :)

  3. Beautiful Scott! I think as parents we all feel this way!

  4. Gen, I think you're right, and we forget to tell em enough. But I think they do know it, it's just good to let them hear it.

  5. Some days we get so caught up in doing all the necessary caring for them that it can be hard to find time to be fun and loving too. But we are just people, parents trying to do our best.

  6. True, Sally. And I think the pinklets will remember the special times you shared with them, rather than the monotony of getting them cleaned/fed etc. They're fortunate to have you.


Say something! It can't be worse than what I have said. Note: Sometimes you have to press 'comment' twice. Stupid comments thingy.