My dearest son, like every parent to offspring, I am immensely proud of your beauty, wit and intelligence. You are incredible. You are unique, amazing and on a wild journey into a tomorrow I cannot visit. I profoundly feel this 'future potential' in you.
I only have one simple job to do; I have to provide you the foundation and stability that helps you launch into that future.
And yet, as we play, learn and interact together, I feel sometimes feel sad, sometimes guilt.
Why? Because, although at six years of age, you don't recognise it yet, I am an 'older Father'. At sixty years to your six years, it's obvious that I started Fatherhood a bit late.
Sometimes, when I get 'down and dirty' among the lego with you, my back creaks when I stand up. And when I am trying to keep up with you in a game of Super Mario my hands shake as I thrash the controller in my desperate bid to do the jumps that you do.
But this is not the problem. My every spare minute belongs to you. I love to dance, act the fool and wrestle on the floor with you. I value every moment that we can interact.
My guilt and sadness come from the realisation that I have so much to offer you, and so much to teach you. From putting the toilet seat down and making your bed, to telling the time and caring for goldfish, to treating others with respect, about sharing and caring, to being cool about losing, and modest about winning. And much, much more. And we have a limited amount of time.
I left home at seventeen and never knew a father 'for my first beer', for friendly, impartial advice, for recommending good authors, music, or articles on deep space.
I made so many mistakes on my life journey, stupid avoidable mistakes.
I wish only to be an available resource for you should you choose to use it. I would never seek to make you like me. But I'd like to help you avoid being too much like me by replicating these mistakes.
So, although my life without you, or any children, was amazing. I travelled, dived, skied, worked and partied around the Globe, I'd trade much of it, for more time, just to stand-in-the-wings of your debut into the world.. just as a resource in case you needed to ask something.
Will I be there for you, to coach or guide you through the bigger choices in life, like University, Career or Finances? Will I help you choose your first motorbike or car?
Will there be a chance to share family history when you are old enough to understand or even be interested? Will I be able to tell you why you maybe suffer from a sore back, or knees, or why certain foods my upset you when you are older.
Who knows. But I plan to leave you a legacy, just in case. This is my amends to you.
You are too young to understand now. But I am sure you will come to an age, where you will wonder how I felt when I first saw you, and what hopes I harbour for you. There will come a time when you want to know me, man-to-man. Who was my Father after all?
My legacy will be to answer these and many questions in writing for you to read and reread in your future at an age-appropriate moment.
Often I see myself in your six-year old eyes, smiles and behaviours. But I don't see my own Father. And I realise that I remember little of my childhood through the same years. I can only hope that what I do for you now is deeply positive for your development, and anchored in your sub conscious, even if you don't remember beating me at Super Mario.