This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

This may be surprising to hear, but I like to write. I know…I know it’s crazy right. A blogger who likes to write? Well, it’s true. I enjoy trying to make my thoughts and ideas come together to create a story or narrative that hopefully someone else can read and feel connected to. It is one of the best ways that I can express my feelings and thoughts and offers me a bit of catharsis.

This may be why one of my longest-running traditions with my wife and my kids is writing them letters. It began with me deciding to write my wife a letter on our first anniversary of the day we started dating. No matter what gift I got her or how we celebrated I always made sure I wrote that letter. After four years of dating and now 10 years of marriage, you better believe I am preparing that 15th letter for her later this winter on that same dating anniversary.

When my daughter approached her first birthday I thought about how I could be an example of how a man should treat a person he loves, and I thought of writing her a letter. I have now written her two letters and am looking forward to having her next one ready for birthday number three in a couple of weeks.

What inspired me sharing this with you though was thinking of my son. I hadn’t yet written him a letter. How could I start a new tradition with him and make sure that he wasn’t the only one left? On the morning of his first day of Kindergarten I read him the letter that I wrote to him about my pride in him and how much he has matured into the young boy who is now headed off to his first day of school. The look in his eyes and the hug that I received that morning will be a memory that I have the rest of my life.

So I encourage you…whether you’re a best-selling author or someone like me who simply knows how to type letters and make them into words…start a new tradition with your little one. Write them a few words, sentences or pages, but take the time to start a new tradition of sharing with them why exactly it is you think they’re so special. Not only will it help you remember how much love and admiration you have for them now, but it will also be a special gift that they can keep with them and read over and over again sometime down the line when they may be a bit older and a bit farther away.

This is fatherhood…