Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Uncle Justin Lectures on Being a Man #3 - Gentleness

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  As your uncle I am charged with certain aspects of your character development and (with full permission of your parents, of course)  I would like to continue our little chat series on what makes a good man.  We've spoken of courage and moderation and I've had your rapt attention, specifically because you're little and cannot, as of yet, run, walk or crawl away.
Gentleness is what we're going to talk about today Nephew.  As a man you've won the gender lottery when it comes to raw physical strength and musculature.  You are going to grow up and someday have your own home and family.  There's a good chance, as a man, that you're going to be the tallest and strongest member of your household.  This is the case in my family.  In this type of situation there are men who become the worst sort of tyrants by using that strength to hurt, bully, torment and "rule" their loved ones.  It takes no effort to physically hurt someone who's smaller than you, Leif.  There is no worry of this weaker person hurting you back.  In your life you will run across a lot of cowardly men who seem to thrive on the abuse of those that are weaker.  Put a pair of gloves on them and place them against someone their own size? You'll see them cower and whimper like the weaklings they are.  That may seem a little strongly worded, but I have little patience for abuse of this kind.  The choice to abuse your strength would be the choice to raise your children with fear, not love.  Fear can be conquered.  Love cannot.
To be gentle is to show your strength, for the aforementioned reason that you don't have too.  It is one of my deepest hopes and prayers for you that you grow into a man that uses your strength to provide a home where the ones you love rely on that strength to provide them with a sense of security and safety. 
In your gentleness, they will see God.

I love you buddy - Uncle Justin

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bedtime Story Nephew: The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse - Aesop Fable

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  I hope you're still awake and ready for a bedtime story.  Enjoy, I love you very much.

video


Love - Uncle Justin

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hello Leif

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  It's been a couple days since I wrote you and I hope the past days have been as good for you as they have for me.  I'll be coming up to visit you in less than a week.  I'm very excited to see you in the flesh and speak to a real person rather than a computer screen.  It's more personable.  Elijah, your cousin, and I went fishing for a few hours today.  No luck.  He also went to a birthday party and came back completely muddy, stained and tired.  He had a great time.  I love you buddy,

Love - Uncle Justin

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bedtime Story Leif - Father William by Lewis Carroll

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  I already wrote you tonight but can't let you go to bed without a bedtime story.


video

  Love - Uncle Justin

Getting ready to see you

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  I'm looking forward to seeing you soon.  We're getting the Chevy all cleaned out and ready for a road trip.  We're doing what we usually do here when getting prepared.  Your Aunt Crystal gets ready two weeks before and I usually get my stuff together right before we leave.  I could get my stuff ready earlier, but I'm a creature of habit and unwilling to change this late in the game.
We have a present for you.  Your Aunt Crystal picked it out and I think it's a fine choice.  I can't tell you what it is, but I need to make assurances to your parents up front that it's not alive, combustible or poisonous.
Have a nice evening Nephew.  I love you very much.

Love - Uncle Justin

Monday, June 20, 2011

Family

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  It's a little late and you're probably asleep.  However, I remember some late nights with wide awake babies so I'll write you anyway.  If you're up your parents will have something to read to you. 
Anyway Nephew, Just wanted to remind you that I love you and am proud to be your uncle.  You've got a good family to take care of you and good families stick together.
I don't know how things will be in the future, but we're dealing with some economic difficulties at present.  I hear more and more stories of families condensing or taking care of each other to make ends meet.  This is interesting, especially here in America where we're notorious for needing our 'space'.  Our beauty is in our individualism and self-reliance.  However, there's nothing like a job crisis to make a family start grabbing that helping hand, surrounding the wagons and praying for daylight.  That last sentence mixed a few metaphors, but you get the idea.  Having a strong and supportive family is 90% of life's battle. 
The key here is the word support.  Knowing your bloodline, I can guess that you will be a bit stubborn and strong in your conviction.  That is a good thing.  We are a family of individualists.  One of the best qualities of our family is that we stand on our own two feet.  You will have support if you stumble in life, my boy, but only enough to get you back up and moving again.  Being carried is for squares.  You are going to be stronger than that.
Sleep well Nephew.  I love you very much

Love - Uncle Justin

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hi Leif

Hi Leif,

I hope this note finds you well and happy.  Be good to your father today.  With the exception of the thousands of things he has done for you today, the day is his.  My own son, your cousin Elijah, made me a nice father's day card in church today.  I opened it up and he had spelled my name all on his own without his teacher's help.  I was very proud and so was he.  I asked him what the picture he drew for me was and he said, "It's so cool.  There is a lot of fire and there are people in the fire.  The fire is burning them"!  I looked at the picture for a moment and told him how much I liked it while giving your aunt Crystal a side glance.
No wonder his Sunday School teachers looked at me kind of funny when I picked him up. I assured them that people burning wasn't a usual topic at home.  I don't think they believed me.
No matter.  As his dad I had his back and willingly take the blame.  Maybe when he's older he'll do an art deco on Dante's Inferno.
Have a great father's day Nephew. 

Love - Uncle Justin