Friday, January 20, 2006

To My 40-Year-Old Son

My son had a project to write a letter to himself when he was 40. I thought it was such a great idea, that I wanted to write one. I did not read his before I wrote mine, and it is amusing how close they are in tone.

His letter to himself:

Dear me at 40 years old,

This is a letter from yourself at 14 years old. Are you, or have you been a professional paintballer or snowboarder yet? Is your life going how you want it to? Hopefully you have a job that you enjoy. I also hope that you are in shape and healthy.
I hope that you still have hair, and if you don’t do not cover it up. I hope that you are active in sports or at least exercise. I want to live a long life and if you aren’t in shape then I wont be able to live as long. I hope that you have a girlfriend or a wife. I want you to have a good job and hopefully you like it. I want you job to involve going outside, so that you don’t have to be cooped up in an office all day.
Where do you live? I hope that it’s nice. Is it an apartment? Or a house? Do you live with anybody, Such as roommates or children or women? How do you dress? I hope that you are stylin’ and look good.
Who are your friends now? Do you even have any? Well I hope that you do because I really enjoy having my friends to hang out with. My friends right now are Mason, Tanner, Dani, Reid, Brent, Canon, and Jason. We have a lot of fun together. Right now Mason, Tanner, Jason and I have been snowboarding a lot together. The ski bus just started and Dani is going on the ski bus but not Tanner, I’m learning tricks this year because I have finally got riding down good. Hopefully I don’t break any bones, but I haven’t any year yet so I think I will be ok.
How much schooling have you had? I hope that you at least graduated high school. But hopefully you went on to college. I don’t like school at all but if I want to have a good job then I need to go to college. If you did go to college, which one? Did you go back for another degree? What was your major? I like to take stuff apart and figure out how things work. So maybe you are majoring in mechanical engineering or something interesting like that.
What are your hobbies? I really like to paintball now. It’s not so much as a hobby anymore, but its forming into a sport, I mean it’s on TV and everything. My favorite team is team Dynasty, and my favorite player is Oliver Lang. So do you still paintball? Or did the game change so much that it’s a joke?
Well I hope that you are happy with your life. I hope that you are not just wasting you time here on earth. I hope that you someone that everyone likes and doesn’t hate. I want you to be successful and have a well paying job. Lastly, I just want to you feel that you have accomplished something.

Sincerely ,
Yourself at 14, Matt

To my dearest, adorable 40-year-old son:

I hope this letter finds you healthy and happy, still full of adventure, finding fun and challenge in all that you take on. I also hope you have continued to live your life with honesty and integrity, having empathy and compassion for those around you.

I am guessing by now you have found the person to spend you life with. Someone that you can be best friends with, enjoy life and joys. You might even have a few children and will have now realized that parenting comes with no handbook. That some of the rules dad and I set down for you were reasonable and fair. I also hope that you will forgive our shortcomings as parents. We did the best we could with what we had been exposed to as children ourselves. We probably gave you too many material things, but we wanted you to have lots of fun and explore all of your passions. You were the surprise in our lives, the shining star we never thought to have. Yes, we spoiled you, but you were such a good son. Not demanding too much and knowing when you had enough ‘things’. Almost always rational, until you reached your teens, but that argumentative phase did not last very long.

Do you have a couple of big, funny dogs running around your house, eating food off the tabletops? Do you still have all of your hair? And are you allowing your own son to dye his hair blue? Did you stay in Washington State or decide to find a new place to explore? Are you still paintballing on the weekends and did you ever design the best paintball gun the world has ever seen? Did you write plenty of songs to make an album? And did it go platinum? Do you paint beautiful paintings? Or design new typefaces for the world to use? Are you designing websites or applications? I always thought you would be an inventor, musician and artist. I hope you have found a way to make a living incorporating all of your best talents and enjoy the work you have chosen.

I also am hoping that you are living in a more peaceful world where people have finally realized that to honor differences in culture and religious beliefs is the best road to travel. That we have finally stopped killing animals that are near extinction, found a way to save our oceans from destruction. That global warming was halted and the environment repaired. That governments around the world have pulled together to find alternative to fossils fuels and fighting over oil is a distant memory. I hope that the world has come together in a spectacular way. The world feels so small now with the Internet and I am thinking it will feel even smaller in 40 years.

So my most precious son, I know in your 40th year, you are an outstanding person. With lots of friends and that you celebrate life everyday. I hope you and your family and friends go on hikes, camping, fishing, travel the world on vacations and holidays. That you have wonderful Christmas’ and that you have not thrown away all of those silly ornaments that dad and I collected. Remember I warned you not to sale those in a garage sell, no matter what your wife says! LOL
I love you, Your mom


"Maggie" said...

Wow, this was such a good read. I should try to have our children do this...I know what they'd say. No time Mom, I have to run, maybe later! I hope your son was able to reflect and learn much from this assignment and maybe tailor his future and goals with a much clearer mind set. Loved your analogy too, why don't you do writing for a living?

meggiecat said...

Oh, Kim, these letters brought tears to my eyes. Matt's last line just did me in and I will never see young men in quite the same way again. Apparently the spoiling is not detrimental to his solid core. You are truly blessed.

Kim Carney said...

Now, I am going to cry! Thanks you guys. ME WRite? scary!
Maggie you should get your kids to write one!

Amy said...

Kim, all I can say is I hope our boys are as well adjusted at fourteen as Matt is now. There's an old soul in that young man of yours and I think he's been paying close attention so far!

jill said...

I hope he will be able to keep these letters some place special to actually read in his 40th year. I know for me personally, I would have LOVED to receive a letter like that from my mom who passed away a few years before my 40th birthday.

What a special relationship you have... Thanks for sharing this "project" with us.