The day you were born was one of the three great days of my life, not just because I had a son, but because it was you. You had a distinctive and attractive personality from the moment you opened your eyes. You staked a claim in my heart and in this world from your first howling cry.
It’s hard to explain, but when you become a parent, you’re still just yourself, the guy you were in school and in bands and everywhere else, wondering how you can make your kid’s life a happy and productive one, and also wondering what kind of person you’re raising.
You’ve evolved recently from being a happy and humorous little boy to being a kid, now on to being a teenager, and it’s been interesting and exciting to watch. You’ve always had a great yearning for adventure, and I think you’re sometimes worried you’re not always where the action is. But you have that wondrous gift of making things happen wherever you are—you're where the action is, because you make things fun around you.
You’re an amazingly moral person, particularly for such a young guy, and you always have been—concerned with what was right and wrong, what was the best thing to do, and what the consequences were for other people should you or they do something. I’m very proud of you for many things, but that stands out. You deeply love your family, and that doesn’t stop with your parents and sister. You love your cousins and aunts and uncles, and you let them know you love them.
That maybe is your most remarkable characteristic—you’re a joyously affectionate boy, and you need affection in return. Try not to lose that as you get older and bigger. It’s not a sign of weakness—in Europe the toughest, most macho men are also the most affectionate with friends and family. You’re a loving person, and what better thing can be said about someone?
You’re an amazing athlete, with tremendous natural gifts. Plus you work hard to refine those gifts, and you put the time in to make yourself better. I’m very proud of you for that, and look forward to watching you make the most of your gifts.
Your life is something great to watch and witness—such a huge creation coming from that great April day when you were born. You love and are loved in return, you’re great at things you love and want to sink your teeth into, you’re very very funny, with a crazy sense of humor, and you have a large and diverse interest in all things in this world, from sports to nature to cars to music to different places.
Stay true, stay young, stay hungry, stay funny, stay interested, stay happy and loving. You’re a dream come true for me as your Dad, and I look forward to watching you grow into a young man. Love you with all my heart.