To my oldest son:
You're 16 now, and for a long time I've tried to find a way to truly let know you how much I love you.
I know it's awkward to hear me say it all the time, so I needed to find a way for you to experience what my heart feels for you in a constant, immersive way you would never forget. Besides, many times I will not be in the same room as you and it's during those times you may need to be reminded the most.
I think I found the way....quite by accident.
I give you: My heart...with four legs and a tail:
Every time you interact with this amazing creature, remember...
My Heart Loves You Unconditionally
No matter what you do, I will be here to support, love, encourage you.
My Heart Jumps When You're Near
When you come home from school next week, or when you come home from your career next decade, I'll be excited to hear all about your day. I love it when you're near.
My Heart Will Comfort You
You have had some lonely, sad times already. I'm sure you will have many more. I wish you wouldn't, but you care so deeply for people that your heart gets hurt when the feelings are betrayed. During those times just know that my heart will always be there to comfort you and to help you through (even if it's just sitting next to you until you're ready to engage).
My Heart Loves to Explore With You
I love it when you include me in your adventures! Whether it's a chat about life, a gaming break to hear of the latest achievement, an invitation to your next big life event, or just watching you take that next big bite out of life...my heart will always be with you and loves when you include me.
My Heart Loves to Hear Your Voice
We have a deeper relationship when we talk together. Let's not lose that. We hear a lot about quality time, but you can't have quality without quantity.
My Heart Will Mess Up
I'm not perfect. Yes I know I'm the parent but still, I'll mess up. Don't worry, though. I'll probably know it before you do. I always have your best interest in mind, and through our mistakes our relationship will get deeper and better.
My Heart Will Challenge You
You will do things I won't agree with. I may challenge you 'in fun' to change your behavior while we both smile about it. But, sometimes I may not budge and we will need to work through it together. Even then, always remember I'm in this for you.
My Heart Responds to Kind Words, But Won't Give Up Loving You at Harsh Words
As you well know, your kind words melt my heart. But even when your words are harsh, I'll never, ever stop loving you. I'm a big boy and can take an earful. I'll listen to you rage, see past the surface, work to understand the source of the anger, and be ready to talk when you are. Even if you turn away...once you find your way back...I will be here...loving you the whole time.
Now that you and Orchid have found each other, I don't think you'll ever be the same...
...I'm excited to see how you will grow as she grows
...I'm excited to see what you learn as you train her
...I'm excited to share this experience with you
...and I'm excited to share this life with you.
(Did I say I love you?)