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To Mason…

I’ve always known my failings as a father, and have a long list of things I’d do differently, if given the chance. Lessons still remain that I’d planned to teach. And I am not yet the role model that I’d always intended to be… My hope with our kids, however, is that they will never, ever doubt my love for them. Today is a big day in our family, a turning point. While Mason technically moves into his dorm August 22, he has used his own money to get a hotel room in Gunnison, CO, starting today, so that he can practice with the Western State University football team. I’m so proud that he’s harnessing his own initiative to achieve his dream, even if that means he leaves us a little earlier than we would like.

Mason, I know you’ll succeed at life, and I want you to always be certain of our love and support. Be the upstanding man we know you to be. Be strong, be smart, and be loving. Treat others with kindness, and reach out to those in need.

Football is a tough sport, and I hope you stay safe and kick ass on the field. It won’t take much for you to show the coaches what you can do. Know that you are amazing. You have leadership abilities and I hope you have the opportunities to use them.

As much as I’m rooting for you, you also know that this change touches me deeply. Our relationship will be altered, starting today. Out of necessity, yes–but that doesn’t mean I like it. My heart aches at the thought that I won’t see your smiling face on a daily basis. It is an inevitability that kids grow up and move away, and I want you to fly. But I also know how much light you’ve brought us… Not having you around is going to be tough, but I also know that means you’ll be shining your light on others, who will benefit from your goodness.

The card we gave you at your goodbye dinner last night says it all: “It will be a bit gloomy here without you. That’s what happens when the sunshine goes away.”

I love you today, tomorrow, and every day. Fly, my beloved, and find great fortune.

(And if you ever doubt my love, listen to this song. SEE? I got you to listen to Mary Chapin Carpenter! )

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