Before I get started I’d like to welcome you to the world! It’s a crazy place, filled with wonder, beauty, love, laughter, hopes and dreams and so many amazing things. I know you’re going to love it!
Guess I should introduce myself. Hi, my name is Unkie Dave! I’m a brother like you. I used to get into all sorts of mischief with your mother when we were younger, and we shared many good times together. She is one of the few people I have the utmost respect and admiration for. I could not be more proud of her or your Dad. Never have I met two people so in tune with one another than your parents.
And let’s not forget your sister, Daisy, who, like my sister, will be there for you no matter what happens in your life. You will need each other for so many reasons but always remember that it is acceptance, friendship and support that will bind you together. Few relationships in our lives can match the bond between a brother and sister. Siblings are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
I’ve thought a lot about what to say to you in this letter, and if one day you might read it. I have a gift for writing, for creating make-believe worlds and characters, but when it comes to writing what is in my heart I feel a great sense of joy and humility. There are no falsehoods here, no plots, no half-truths or epic stories, just my words of advice and hopes for your good and prosperous life.
Okay, so you won’t be a year old until July 4th, 2012, but your mother gave birth to you so therefore it was indeed a happy birth day! Birthdays are fun times, family & friends come together to celebrate with cheer and laughter, and cake. Never forget the cake!
Birthdays are moments of fun and excitement, possibly equalled only by Christmas for all the excitement and anticipation, and cake! One thing you should always remember on your birthday is to give your parents a hug, a smile, a phone call, anything to let them know you are grateful for everything they have done, and still do, for you. You should get to know your parents, spend time with them whenever you can and cherish those moments like gold dust. Like your sister, they too may need your support in the future.
Life, the Universe & Everything!
Life is a strange and wonderful thing. I didn’t understand how precious it was until the last few years. You should savour every moment, good or bad, never be afraid to try something new and never be afraid to ask anything. A lot can be lost if you don’t ask. If you don’t like the answer then ask for it be explained. Don’t be afraid to argue, this isn’t a bad thing, but remember not to let strong negative emotions rule your argument.
Communication can unlock doors you may not have known were there.
Worrying is something we all do but try not to spend too much time worrying about those things over which you have no control. It is wasted energy you can best put to more positive uses. You may worry about a test in school but it won’t have an impact on the outcome.
Simply do your best, no one will expect any more from you.
As you grow you’ll learn so many amazing things, like toes! Oh how you will love your toes! I’m pretty sure all babies are fascinated with their toes. Some things you will like better than others, but that’s okay, don’t feel bad because you don’t like broccoli or olives! I don’t like pork or lamb or really smelly cheese.
Try something new whenever you can.
Chances are you’ll find your way in life and what you’re good at. You might be the sporty type or have a flair for design or art, or you could be gifted academically. Play to your strengths but never give up on a challenge. You can be anything you want and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
You are in charge of your own destiny.
Many rewards come through being adventurous, whether that means skiing down a mountain, travelling through an unknown place or trying a Chicken Madras! You don’t know till you try! At the same time you should know your limits, never be pushed or forced into something you know is wrong or dangerous. Peer pressure can help you overcome obstacles, good friends can push you to do better, but at the same time it can be hazardous.
Keep a cool head!
At some point you will hear the phrase “When I grow up I want to be…” and you’ll likely say it yourself. Follow your dreams and your passions, use them to bring success and happiness in your life but remember to share that with others. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do with your life, I know people who at 40 still have no idea what they want to do with theirs. Take pride in what you do, no matter what that may be.
Be patient and you will find your niche in time.
Love & Laughter.
Love comes in many forms, love for music, dancing, art, writing, sport and so on. Love for your family is unconditional, trust, honour and respect them. If you take vows before your peers on your wedding day don’t just think of them as words, but truly understand the meaning and promises you make. Whether you believe in God or religion is beside the point, you are making those vows to your loved one and that is what matters.
You will know when love comes to town. Trust me.
Never let a day go by without laughter. If you can’t share this with anyone then try to laugh anyway. It can soothe a weary heart and lift your spirits better than a headache tablet. Life without laughter is like a pencil without lead, you can have as many as you like in your pencil case but without that lead to scribble on the page they are useless. Don’t forget to smile. Imagine talking to someone on the phone, smile as you speak and that will come across in your voice.
Laughter can give you hope and help lift the spirits of those around you.
Don’t be too eager to grow up, a lot can be lost whilst looking to the future. Plan, dream and hope but enjoy the present at the same time. Life is full of moments, both good and bad. Appreciate the bad times because they serve to highlight the good times.
If your parents tell you off it isn’t because they want to be nasty to you, they do it because they are your teachers, they are your biggest supporters, the people you can ask anything without needing to fear the answers. Since the moment you were born your parents opened the George Fan Club and they will never close it.
Trust your parents, they are wise, fair and trustworthy.
School can be a magical place without needing to be called Hogwarts. It will play a massive part in your life. You may make life long friends at school, and no matter where your life leads you try to stay in contact with them whenever you can. They will keep you grounded and remind you where you came from and how you all started on the path of life together. Chances are your school teachers will know you before you know them because of your sister. Enjoy your studies, enjoy playtime, enjoy your friends because you will spend a lot of time in their company over the years. You won’t always get along with everyone and avoiding confrontation is hard.
Use your brain not your anger to work through confrontation.
And then we come to girls! Yucky girls! Playing kiss-chase or giggling or calling you Gorgeous George, trust me, they will call you that! As you get older try not to be too cavalier or cocky, confidence not arrogance is far more appealing. Don’t just show women respect because that is expected of you, do it because you should honour those that give birth to us and usher in the next generation. As for everyone else, respect those who deserve it and those who have earned it.
Don’t be reckless with someone else’s love or their affections.
As for the rest…
Above all I want you to be happy, to enjoy your life everything it has to offer. Don’t be afraid of your mind, body, emotions or your spirit, they are yours for life and who else will ever know them like you do?
On a wall in my Dad’s house was a poem written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920’s, called Desiderata. When I was young I loved the words even though I didn’t know what they meant. Now I’m older I understand their meaning and that they offer a good set of morals to live by and a philosophy I think everyone can benefit from. Desiderata sums my thoughts better than I can.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Baby George, I hope your life is illuminated by love, laughter, hope, joy, friendship and prosperity.