"Dad and Son Walking" by Olichel

The Paradox of a Loving Father

Dear Son, Today I got in a big power struggle with O. over leaving the park in a timely fashion. We were throwing a foam chuck glider around for over an hour, and mostly having fun. But when it came time to go home, I was met with dozens of diversions, excuses, unreasonable requests, and, […]

Laughing Boy


Dear Son, I have a pretty unusual take on feelings.  One that is at the core of my work.  And it is one I sure hope that I can teach you, because it has made my life a lot better for holding it. Feelings are fleeting:  They start involuntary – we all feel angry, sad, […]

Father and Son Backpacking

The Kind of Dad that I Hope to Be

Dear Son, I hope to be the kind of father who is a constant, centering, compassionate presence in your life.  I hope to be the kind of man you come to when you are troubled, and feel safe and accepting of the guidance I can give you.  I hope to be someone you can come […]

Re-enactors in 18th Century French Military Uniform

Know Which Battles to Fight

Dear Son, Fear of getting into conflict is one of the best ways to wind up extremely unhappy.  Men who are not willing to take a stand usually end up being bullied, browbeaten, and manipulated at every turn.  Men who go out of there way to appease and pacify other people end up frustrated, lonely […]

Roaring Lion

Stand Up for Yourself!

Dear Son, One thing I hope that you will learn early, and learn better than I did when I was young, is how to have good boundaries.  I hope you come to know what you want in life, and what you don’t want in life.  And I hope that you hold yourself in high esteem:  […]

Horses Running Free in the Mist

Respect: The Basics

Dear Son, I find a lot of people speak about respect, but every few understand the concept fully.  Many people mistake respect for deference, submission, or obedience.  But it is far from being any of those things.  In fact, a respectful person sometimes has to speak up in the face of authority, stand up to […]

Hands: Holding, Embracing, Loving

A Father’s Promise

Dear Son, I cannot make a lot of promises to you about how life is going to be.  I don’t even wish that I could. Watching you explore and learn and have your own experiences is part of what I am looking forward to the most about your arrival. I know that you will be […]