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Letters to my Children



Today is the 11th birthday for my son and daughter, Jason and Ainsley. It's hard to believe that 11 years has passed since the twins were born. My wife asked me to sign their birthday cards and "write something", but I realized "Happy Birthday" wasn't going to suffice. Instead I wrote them each a letter telling them why I love them. I decided to share them with my readers.


Ainsley Grace,

I love you. You're becoming an amazing young woman and an unstoppable force. The word "can't" never crosses your lips. You don't say "I wish", you say "I will". You tell me you're going to be an actress, singer, and fashion designer. I admire the certainty in your voice when you say it. You may not be any of these things, but it won't be because someone said you don't have the talent. It won't be because someone said you can't. Whatever you become, whomever you become, it will be because you control your own destiny. Your leadership and drive and unwillingness to give up will make you great at whatever you choose.

I admire you for being a vegetarian. At the age of eight you simply decided it was the right thing to do, and you did it. You choose goodness. You also choose tolerance. It doesn't bother you that not everyone sees the world from your eyes. You are a good soul, with a good heart to match.

You don't compare yourself to others. You see your friends and your brother for the talents they have, but never feel smaller, just different. You don’t need to be better than others. You only need to be better than you were yesterday. This desire to constantly improve will lead you to happiness.

In college you will learn the term "self-actualization", which is often a goal of many intellectual adults. It's one of my goals, which I have yet to achieve. At 11 years old, however, you know who you are. You know what you can do. You have the confidence to travel with the crowd or walk your own path. This is a rare gift, and it will serve you well.

You are simply amazing to me, and I'll love you forever.

Happy Birthday,

Papa

Jason Andrew,

I love you.

I love your brain and the way it works differently from others. The way you think will make you an exceptional adult, but also be frustrating. Sometimes you will have trouble making people understand the world the way you do, but you'll find a way.

You told me once that you wanted to be a scientist so that you could cure cancer, make the disabled walk again, or perhaps invent a new snack food.

What's clear to me is that the world will someday know that Jason Andrew Tweed was here. You're going to spend 100 years on earth, and whatever you choose to do will be big. You are destined for greatness.

On a personal note, you're my best friend. You're one of those guys who's just fun to be around. I love that I have a buddy to share games, watch action movies and laugh together.

You also care about people; something you got from your mommy. You'll always be cool, but still caring and genuine.

You're learning the meaning of loyalty and honor. You're learning about responsibility and devotion. You're learning about perseverance and determination. All of these things will make you a man I'll be proud to call my son.

Happy Birthday!

Love,

Papa

Kristen,

Eleven years ago today you gave me the greatest gift of all, my beautiful children.

Truth be told, however, you gave this gift more than 20 years ago when you told me you loved me, and let me love you in return.

Without your love, strength, support and periodic laughter at the ridiculousness that is our lives, I never could have achieved a fraction of what we have together.

I am a man because of you. I am a father because you. I matter because of you.

I owe you a debt that can never be repaid, so the best I can do is say this...

Thank you, my love.

Jason







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