Dear Tyler Anthony Large,
7 years a son. 7 years my son. I never wanted anything more than 1 son. I’m not sure if it was the biblical tales of Cane and Abel, or Jacob and his brothers who betrayed him but something scared me and has always made me only want 1 son.
Thank God you came my way 7 years ago. When you get older, I pray we can sit on the back patio of your new home, pop the top on whatever beer you’ve got on ice for me and have a real talk. I’ll tell you how scared I was from the minute I found out your mother was pregnant. We’ll discuss how I didn’t think I would survive a single day with a third child. I’ll tell you what I was making per hour at the time and hopefully you’ll do the math and see that even on paper it didn’t add up. Not only that, I knew that having a son meant I had to grow up. A son carries your name into a new generation.
The awesome thing is , as of this day….roughly 59 minutes before your birthday, as you lay sleep in your bed just down the hall from me, we’ve made it. You’re here. You’re a blessing to everyone. So full of life and uniquely you. You’re not instantly me the way your sister Maya is, your not an even split version of me the way your sister Kayden is either. Heck sometimes I don’t even know if you are a combination of your mother or me at all. You look like your Uncle Devin and on most days you act like a living breathing ninja turtle! Your just Tyler, but your forever my son.
In the last year I’ve seen you fall in love with reading and school as a whole. Your mother and I joke about how whenever your in one of our cars you read every street sign, speed limit sign, business name, and billboard. You’ve also fallen in love with gymnastics. I didn’t know what to think at first, I mean I am a traditional football, baseball and basketball man myself. I do acknowledge that you do more flips than Bruce Lee watching a Ninja Turtles movie. Sometimes I think that you actually think you are Donatello in real life. Sometimes it’s hard to get you out of character and just be Tyler! What I had to realize is that you are going to be your own person and my job is to love you and not force you to be or do what I want.
You finally got a little height this year. That’s great….take all of that you can get over the next decade or so. I’m 5″10 and both your granddad’s are right around there too. Hopefully you’ll cross that 6 foot threshold for us. It’s no fun having “Large” as a last name and really being small! But remember, even if you get me in height and weight you’ll never be able to take me. I challenged my dad once thinking I could beat my old man. Your grandpa whupped my ass something serious. By the grace of God your mother and your uncle Mario were there to pull me back to my senses.
Can you believe your halfway through the first grade? You really are growing up fast. I know if you get another “yellow” behavior card you not gonna live to see 2nd grade. Hopefully you understand that your mother and I don’t tolerate cutting up in school. We don’t have to worry about you too much though. You’re a great great son to have.
You and your sister have adjusted well to me not being in the home with you guys anymore. I know it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve been gone and kids are resilient but I was still scared. The love I get from seeing you happy to be a “daddy’s house” makes paying this over-priced apartment rent all worth it every month. This past summer was great grilling out and hopping in the pool just about everyday. We won’t tell anyone how you jumped into the 5 foot end like you were a Olympic hopeful and I had to snatch your out. You scared the absolute sh*t out of me! I cried like a baby that night. It made me realize just how fragile life is, and how quick it can all change.
This next year is bound to be exciting. Your 7th birthday today and I get a front row seat for the next 365 days until your 8th. Son I don’t care what we do, as long as we’re doing it together. Continue being you, and building Tyler’s life.
Dad (Travis Large)