A Letter to my Son

It’s time for Mr Awesome and I to start talking with our son about puberty and the changes he will be facing. This is a collection of the thoughts that have been going through my head, ever since we raised this discussion. It is inspired, in part by the post Dear Daughter, I Hope You Have Awesome Sex.

I’m not ready for him to grow up yet. I’m not ready for the changes. I want him to be little forever.

But at the same time I don’t. I want to meet this man he will become. I want to see him find his passions, to become the person he is made to become.

It’s one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever faced, this idea that he’s going to grow up and grow away from me. And it makes me sad and excited and scared and worried and joyful and everything, all at once. I think, in some ways, his puberty is going to be harder on me than it will be on him…

So, here it goes. As always, I welcome comments, and if this resonates with you, feel free to share it.

Dear J,

When I look at you, I see the man you are starting to turn into. I see it in the bones under the skin of your skull. I see it in the gold fuzz that is beginning to cover your body. I see it in your broad, freckled shoulders, and I hear it in your laugh and in your changing voice.

But, under all of that, I still see the baby you were, ten years ago. I see your fuzzy blonde head nursing at my breast. I see you with your trucks and your Dorothy the Dinosaur and your Big Red Car. I remember the time, when you were first walking, that you fell and split your lip, the scar forever altering the line of your mouth and the curve of your smile.

And there is so much I want to tell you about the years ahead, whether I am ready for these things to happen, or not.

When you go to school this September, you’ll find some of your female friends are taller than you, and are starting to grow breasts. And some kids, most of them boys, will tease them about this. And it’s your job, as a gentleman and as my son, to stand up for these girls and to be their friend.

You’re going to find that your mind is changing. Sometimes, you won’t feel like yourself anymore. You’ll feel sad or angry sometimes, and you won’t know why. And that’s OK. It’s normal. And I hope you know that your dad and I are here to help you navigate these feelings, if you ever want to talk about it. But I understand that you probably won’t want to talk about it with us, and that’s ok too. I just hope you can find adults in our circle that you can trust, that we trust, if those feelings get overwhelming or you don’t know what to do about them.

Soon, if you haven’t already, you will discover your penis. And it will be the best toy ever. And  you are going to want to touch it. A lot. And that’s awesome. But remember, no one wants to watch, so play with your new toy in a private place, like your bedroom or the bathroom, and enjoy the hell out of it.

Take care of the girls and women in your life. Be a gentleman. Open doors for women, and be a strong shoulder for them. Never, ever hit a woman. Unless it is consensual and pre-negotiated. Then it’s between you and the lady in question, and have fun.

If she says no, or stop, or never, or back off, or any variant on these, listen to her and honor her wishes. Never ever take advantage of someone who is drunk or drugged or even just asleep and can’t make a choice for themselves. Never force yourself on someone.

Sex is amazing and one of the most pleasant ways to spend some time. But unless you are ready to deal with all the complications that comes with it, from fatherhood to STIs to emotional roller-coasters, stick to pleasuring yourself. It’s safer, saner, and easier in the long run.

STIs are real and can range from mildly annoying to deadly. They can happen to anyone at anytime, and many people don’t show any symptoms. Pregnancies can happen, too, even the first time, even if you don’t ejaculate. So wrap it up, every time you play, even if she says she’s on the Pill. We keep a variety of condoms in the upper drawer of dad’s dresser. Help yourself. We’d rather buy more condoms than have a grandchild when you are too young to be a parent, or have the devastation and medical bills of an STI.

And don’t stick your dick in crazy. Even if the crazy is insanely attractive. Not even once. It’s not worth the drama.

Don’t be a player. Have as many partners as you want, have them concurrently if you want, but only if everyone you are involved with is being communicated with and is ok with the arrangement. There is nothing sinful, shameful, or wrong about having multiple partners, unless you are doing it without the knowledge and consent of all involved.

Be gentle in your breakups and when turning down a person who doesn’t float your goat. Sometimes, a person who wasn’t a good match as a partner can turn into a close friend. But only if you are kind and thoughtful in your refusals.

Play with whatever gender strikes your fancy. Women. Men. The beautiful people who are neither or both. All of the above. Humans are humans and body parts are just parts, and not a thing to get hung up on or feel ashamed for fancying. Be willing to defend your choices, because someone else will always have a problem with a person who confidently goes their own way.

Your father and I have sex. Sometimes a lot of sex. Sometimes not a lot of sex. Usually with each other, but often with other partners. This will squick you out. And that’s normal. But one of these days, you are going to understand all our dirty jokes and word games. I can’t wait for that day, for I will laugh at you… But I feel for your embarrassment as well. Because nothing is more disconcerting than realizing that your folks are merely human animals, too.

Your body is awesome, and capable of awesome things. Treat it well, and treat others well, and have an amazing time out there. Marry, or don’t marry, have a dozen children or one or none at all… Live your life as you have started it these past ten years, to the beat of your own drum, and above all things, love the people in your life, and let them know you love them.

I love you so much. My little man, my baby boy. My JJ, my monster-man, my sweet pea.

My baby. Always. Even when I have to look up to look you in the eye.

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2 responses to “A Letter to my Son

  • Hannah

    OMG – I wish either of my parents had the guts to say something like this to me during that time period of my life. But they didn’t – so now I’ve told my siblings… 🙂 Amazing post!

    • lyttlebyrd

      I’m honestly not sure if I have the guts to show it to him, but writing it helped me to organize my thoughts on the matter! I’m so glad you liked it!

      Part of it came from the fact that my parents never talked to me about this stuff, either, and we both want our kids to be better informed about all of it…

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