That's my son, when younger, tweaking my nose. (Kidding.)
Thanks for the gift you've
been for your mom and me. Upon your birth, you were a major turning point in my life. I'm not the person I was before your arrival.
I continually grow as a man, father and human, because of you. I've laughed more, I've cried more (good tears) and have been moved more than ever imagined, by being your dad. Thank you, for the special gift God and your mother gave me more than twenty years ago, on this day.
Thanks for your patience. I'm grateful for your forbearance, and understanding nature. On this day, I saw you enter this world, placed on your mother's tummy. I was a parental aborigine at the time. There were no instructions when the love package of your presence arrived.
You were a guinea pig from which I've learned many lessons, at your expense, as I ventured forth as your father. I learned that mature adults do not create children. Children make mature adults. My priorities all changed for the better. You've been an amazing instructor; I continue to learn because I'm your parent.
You've taught me that listening to another---you---being available to another (you), is more important than viewing the TV or talking to a friend on the phone. Lessons about seeing things from another person's perspective, you instructed. From you I've realized that you learned more by observing how I lived, related with and spoke with others, and not by lectures.
I did many things wrong, while you were growing up; I'm sad about my mistakes. I'm grateful I received hugs of forgiveness when I admitted to you I had feet of clay. An admission of error is a sign of strength rather than weakness, I learned. My conscience is cleaner too, after making amends.
No father can be prouder of a son. Your tenaciousness and perseverance of character, when attempting a goal, I admire. I'm in awe of your common sense and improve when heeding your wisdom. I've learned from your example in relating with others.
Being your father extruded me to places of growth never imagined. Thank you, for the journey of being your dad. I'm proud to call you my son. Remember, it's not what you do---and you've accomplished more than most who are 20 years older than you---that makes me proud. More important is character. And my hope is to become more like you.
Most importantly, I've experienced your unconditional love, even when I've blown it. Being a part of your family humbles me.
This day I bring a gift. But do you see what I'm actually saying? In reality, this day gave me a gift greater than I ever imagined.
Thank you, Pablo Jr., for being you. You are a big reason why I'm a grateful and happy man. And now, you are a man, more than my equal. Best of all, you are my friend. That is the greatest gift of all.
With deepest love,