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Dear Charlie Nine

I just turned 41. 

I don’t know what to tell you now. 

Where do I begin here? 

You’re getting really smart. You have an attitude sometimes. 

You have energy levels I can only aspire to at this point. 

You still run to hug me and yell “Daddy” and I love it every time. 

You’re big enough now that picking you up and carrying you to bed isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be. But I often think about how you won’t always ask me to do it, so whenever you do, I always say yes. 

You just spent the weekend with Grandma and Papa.

You’re also so freakin’ smart. 

It means so much to me when you’re willing to help out with Codie, helping her brush her teeth, put on pajamas, or just go check on her when she’s playing in another room. 

I’m starting to actively want to make sure that we are good friends, that I am a good friend to you, inasmuch as doing so still allows me to parent you well. I look forward to us being friends when you’re older. 

I also know that you’re getting old enough to notice that I’m fatter than a lot of the dads you see picking up and dropping off their kids at school and summer camp. And the thought crossed my mind the other day that you might even hear other kids call me fat. 

All of the sudden the same insecure feelings I had when I was a kid came roaring back like they’d never left. 

Kids can be cruel and worse, they lack the understanding that age brings, and the empathy that understanding brings. 

I hope you are never drawn into bullying others, and I hope that whatever bullying you experience never makes its way into your heart. 

I have hope in God, and hope in you, that you’ll grow up to be the things you call yourself each night. 

So many people in our state and our county (and our country too) are obsessed with taking away your freedom. They’re championing hatred for what is different, hatred for non-white people, hatred for non-straight people, hatred for poor people. 

And at your age I know you’re impressionable. I hope that we’re able to show you how to love others the way Jesus does. I hope that you see the hatred in so many for what it really is, and can really care about and show empathy for others. 

I want you to know so well that empathy for those different from us is not a weakness. That standing up for the rights of oppressed people is the done thing, the right way, God’s preferred course of action. I worry sometimes about raising you in a place that seems blind to those truths, but as I said, before I’m hopeful God can make us light in this darkness. Because it’s true, Charlie, you ARE











Anyway, it’s late and I have to get these clothes folded so I can get some sleep. 

Te amo mucho, 


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