The First Letter Home

Note From the Editor: It’s Friday and the means we hear from the Dads! Today, we hear from John, from The Daddy Yo Blog. You can follow him on Twitter @TheDaddyYoDude. His post discusses what it’s like to get that first note home from the teacher… Read, Relate, Comment. Much Love- Kelly

To my knowledge, I never wrote any letters home from summer camp. Probably because I never went to camp that was longer than a week or a church trip my mom didn’t chaperone. In fact, I don’t think I have ever written too many letters home. That’s not really the point. This is the point: The first letter home that you always receive as a parent, is often not the kind of letter you expect. For me, this first letter came this week. A letter about my son, who is not cooperating with his teachers.

Okay, so I hope I didn’t lead you on to think that this was going to be a shocker post. If it was that kind of letter, I probably wouldn’t write about it so quickly. Anyways, there is a reason that this note, sent home by LM’s teacher, made the “first letter home” phrase seem like a poignant title. It ushered in the beginning of a nw chapter in my journey through dadhood.

I have now reached the point where I have to not only help explain to my son why he got in trouble at school, but understand why that gets him in trouble at home too. On top of that, I now have to really start enforcing the boundaries of “want to do” and “have to do”. I admit that our children may be a little on the spoiled side, but tell me you haven’t spoiled yours at some point or another, then I might feel a little bad. Now though, more of the real life “cause and effect” pattern is creeping in to his life and I have to man up a little more to playing “Daddy Law Enforcement Agent”.

I do have to say, when my wife first told me about it, I was a little upset with myself. I was thinking “It’s my fault he didn’t do his work” and “I’ve let him down by not teaching him these things sooner.” Quickly though, it turned to thoughts of “well that’s what I get for not setting the ground rules for similar situations at home”. That’s when I realized that both of us were about to start doing a little more growing up.

It’s hard to make the transition from the guy who tells the rules, to the dad who enforces the rules because he has to. You remember the whole saying of “it’s going to hurt me a lot worse than it hurts you”? Yeah, it’s true. I hate hearing my kids cry at anytime. But when it happens because I have to enforce the rules, I will admit that it pulls at my heart strings just a little.

That’s just one of those stops though. On the ride of parenthood, we often find ourselves stopping in some unusual and unfamiliar places. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. That’s how it goes. We go with it, we change, we grow. From the first letter home, to the last hug goodbye on their wedding day, our children grow, but so do we.