I'd like you to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would. I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own beds and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.
I hope you'd have to share a bedroom with your younger brother or sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when the little one wants to crawl under the covers with you because they're scared, I hope you let him or her. When you want to see a movie and your little brother or sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll be happy to oblige.
I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask the driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom. If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dads will teach you how to make one instead of buying one.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your heads. I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crushes on a girl, and when you talk back to your mothers, that your learn what Ivory soap tastes like. May you skin your knees climbing a mountain, burn your hands on a stove and bump your asses falling off a tree.
I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not a friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with granny and grampa and go fishing with your uncles. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. I hope your mothers punish you when you throw a baseball through a neighbor's window and that they hug and kiss you at Christmas time when you give them a plaster mold of your hands.
These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life. (Paul Harvey)
This is a great reminder to us all, is it not? We're always too eager to reward ourselves for any little thing, and to console ourselves with material things for every sadness, disappointment, and frustration. We want the good life, always, without really willing to pay the price. Or, we pay the price for the 'good life' by giving up the only things that can really make us happy, like our passions and our health and our family and friends.
We become parents and confuse giving them the best with making sure they have everything new, expensive and that they avoid disappointments and hassles. We worry more about their self-esteem rather than their values and how much discipline they possess.
We measure success and happiness with what we can afford at the drop of a hat.
Just to improve on what my friend wrote... may I and Pappie Jojo echo the hopes and humility of those who knew bad days, of those who went through worse times. So that we can raise Yakee right, not just with passion but also with compassion, not just with dreams but also the will to realize those dreams.