Earlier this year, Anton’s class held it’s Father & Son Day. It was an overnight affair where kids and their dads camped within Ateneo’s grounds. Sadly, Anton got ill and we had to pack up our tent and go home. Consequently, his teacher was unable to give the letter I was asked to write weeks before the event …
My dearest Anton,
You will be turning eleven in November. A few more months, and you will leave your childhood behind, and begin the journey every boy of ten has been itching to make – the passage to manhood. While I feel I am not ready to let you go, I am also excited to see the man you will become.
But before you come into your own, allow me to thank you. While I was not prepared to become a father when you were born, being your dad has been one of the greatest gifts that I have received.
I notice the sweet things you do for your mom, and the thoughtful things you do for your brother. I also see how responsible you have become, and the self-confidence you have developed. Being an honor student in Ateneo, and having been consistently chosen to represent your class in public speaking competitions, are by no means easy. I am so very proud to see that you have been working hard in school and that you have stayed as loving as you are at home.
I am sorry that I cannot spend as much time with you as we both want. I hate it when we cannot play basketball together, or when I cannot be home for dinner, or when I am still at work and cannot tuck you in. But when I am at work, or whenever I am away from home, there is not an hour that passes by that I do not think of you. When you grow up, you will realize that providing for the people you love sometimes needs a little sacrifice. While I am willing to make that sacrifice, you will always be my priority, and I will never let my work get in the way of your needs.
Now that you are on the verge of becoming a man, I wish that you take time to enjoy your childhood a little bit more. Growing up brings a lot of responsibilities. While it would be difficult for me to see my little boy struggle with the challenges of adulthood, I know that you have a keen sense of what is right and what is wrong, and that your sense of responsibility will always guide you.
I also wish that you will not forget how much you are loved – by your brother, your mom and me; and that you will always remember that I am here for you, no matter what.
You will be turning eleven in November, and you are on the verge of becoming a man. While I am letting you go so you can chart your own future, I will forever hold you close to my heart.
I love you so very much. I am so very proud of you.