So, obviously you are a genetic make up of two very distinct people, and there are things that I hope you get from me and things I hope you inherit from your father. Looking at you now you definitely seem to be a nice blend of the two of us but here are my wishes:
Eyesight: I hope you get mine. I have been blessed all my life with perfect, nay, better than perfect vision. 25/20. Granny and Granddad both wore and continue to wear glasses, so genetically I dodged a bullet. Enter eyesight joke here. Your dad on the other hand has been wearing glasses since he was not much bigger than you. Every school picture till he was in the 9th Grade is in these huge Navy issued coke bottle glasses. He was adorable but, with his glasses, he looked…nerdy. Now there is nothing wrong with being nerdy, it’s one of your father’s best qualities, but there is no need for you to look that way. If it comes around that you have your father’s visual impairment then we will find the coolest glasses available, and when and if you want them, we’ll get you contacts. There is no 4 eyes world anymore. Glasses are hot. Your dad got new glasses last year and we’re referring to them as “geek chic” as everyone from Justin Beiber to Demi Moore is sporting them. Personally, I think he looks so sexy in them. Really.
Sexy dad is gross you say? Fine, but my point is glasses can be cool. Find a way to make a statement and have fun with it. Or, have the future equivalent of lasik and be done with it. Just own it.
Teeth: Mine. No braces per say. I was missing a 12 year old molar in the top left of my mouth and they had to do some fancy, never-been-done-before surgery to pull my one and only wisdom tooth into it’s place (In dental text books, I’m kind of a big deal). I had to wear 3 bracket braces to keep the new tooth from shifting, but over all, straight teeth right across the board with no help from orthodontics. Your dad on the other had braces top, bottom and all the way back. After that he wore a retainer (something I used to think was so cool that I tried on my best friend’s sisters all the time in grade 6) but not enough to stop his bottom teeth from shifting and now he’s 30 something considering braces again. Lesson here: WEAR YOUR RETAINER. In this case, don’t be like your father. If I’m around I’ll nag you. If I’m not, consider yourself nagged. Maybe you’ll need nothing at all, but if you do, suck it up. Get the strongest thing that will take the least amount of time and consider it an investment in your future face.
Also: BRUSH. You’re not crazy about it now but I’m serious. Morning and night. And floss if you can. I never really did unless there was something stuck (strawberry seeds, what’s with you?!) but I should have. And if you’re going to ignore any of my advice let it be the flossing. I could go either way on that.
Skin: Dad’s. This is a big one for me and I’m very emotional about it. It has always been my hope that you absolutely inherit your dad’s skin. I think he’s had a total of 8 zits in his whole life. His pores are invisible. He has no dryness. No oiliness. His skin is as close to perfect as you could hope to get without being a porcelain doll or Nicole Kidman. Me on the other hand, I had a really tough time with my skin. I still do. From puberty on I had acne. Not horrifying Accutane before picture acne (my heart goes out to those people) but bad enough that it dictated a lot about how I felt about myself. I was also one of the only one of my friends with a problem, and that made it even harder. I can remember crying my eyes out in the dressing room of a store before my first formal dance because I couldn’t find a dress that covered my backacne. I was constantly self conscious. I learned about makeup really early (something you won’t be able to do as much) and got up earlier than most just to have time to put on “my face”. To this day I can’t leave the house without makeup. These days I still have acne and I’m starting to deal with aging too. It’s bulls@#t and I don’t want you to have any part of it.
If you do, deal with it ASAP. Even if you aren’t noticing anything, deal with it knowing that you carry half my genes. Wash your face every night if you can. With soap (or cleanser). Use sunscreen. That’s a given in today’s ozone world, but do it as a ritual so you never have to think about it. Sunburns suck. So do early wrinkles and don’t get me started on the statistics of men and skin cancer… If you have full blown acne or huge pores or blackheads, get a dermatologist. It is not lame to take this seriously. You don’t want to be the pizza face guy. Not when there are so many options in today’s world. It’s too hard. You don’t have to be bigger than it. It’s not a character builder, it’s an ego killer. Lots of things that didn’t go my way made me stronger. This is not one of them. If anything, I still can’t hold my head as high as I’d like. Be diligent. It’s no joke.
Side note on picking: I’m won’t tell you not to do this. Doctors will. Magazines do. It’s supposed to be bad and make things worse and potentially scar you and everything – but I’m abnormally relieved when I attack my face. I always thought it was because I got to kill things I hate (no matter how little), but I recently read that often A type people are often closet pickers. Apparently, it is a valid source of stress relief and that I am far from alone in partaking. Now if I find myself gouging at my skin, it’s a pretty good indicator that I’m stressed about something. And personally, picking is preferable to a whitehead any day. Dermatologists may not agree but they aren’t the ones walking around with my skin so they can shut it.
Hair: Either of us. Dad’s is receding only slightly but overall, we both have big, full heads of hair. You are one lucky laddie.
Athleticism: Both of us. Dad played football till he found acting and then he danced and worked out. I was a track star until high school when everyone got taller and I got my a#* handed to me. After that I stuck to water sports almost exclusively – swim team captain, synchronized swimming and diving – till University when I joined the Varsity ski team and ultimate frisbee team. After that, I too found my place in full time acting and became a dancer/gym bunny. Your dad is still in wicked shape. He kills the gym, surfs, golfs and plays competitive paintball. If this is not still true when you read this and his “sports” consist of watching the Ducks on television, kindly remind him of his athletic past.
I obviously can’t do what I used to, but I was in great shape when I got pregnant with you and still would be if the situation were different. Your granddad told me once that if you can exercise consistently till your 30’s it’ll never leave you. It’ll always be something your body loves and responds too. It’s easy when your young to be lazy. You can eat anything and never gain a pound and it seems like it’ll always be that way. It won’t. You gotta put in the work. As the song says : Take care of your body. It is your most trusted friend.
As a great motivating bonus: if you exercise (in whatever form you love), you can eat. And eating is GOOD.
Attitude: Both of us, but for different reasons. Your dad’s for positivity and can do-ness. He’s a force for good your father. He sees the brightness and joy in the world. He’s a true optimist. He’s sincere in his best wishes for everyone and people love him for it. I truly believe he is enjoying life more than most and believe me, our life is far from easy. He believes it’s all going to work out and he lives that way. He’s wonderful and happy. I want that for you.
I am not what you would call an optimist, but I’m tenacious. I’m also someone who can make things happen. A go-getter if you will. I may have lost my way a bit, but it’s still who I am. It can be who you are too. It’s a good way to be. Just don’t forget to listen. I sometimes do and it’s not my best quality.
Work Ethic: We both work our a*#es off. I’m a doer. I make lists and get things done in multiples of 4. I’d get an assignment in school and start it right away. I wouldn’t miss a party or anything, but I’d consistently work on something so what I handed in was my best possible effort. I still live like that. It can make me a bit…I don’t know, anal? rigid? perfectionist-y? But I deliver and I’m proud of that. Your dad is a work horse. Sometimes I literally don’t know how he does it. Trying to make it as an actor you have to do lots of other jobs. Your father has been known (on many occasions) to get up at 5am, work out, make breakfast, go to his job downtown with your Aunt Gerry, finish work, change, bartend till 1am, come home and start all over again the next day. For 2 weeks last year he worked all day and then shot a movie all night – 8am-4pm and then 5pm-4am. We’ve had weeks where we’ve barely seen him and then when he is home he’s working in the office on whatever new project he’s gotten himself into – App Company, Card company, writing, producing…he’s unbelievable. I used to worry that without his “big break” he might be like a hamster on a wheel. Running and running without going anywhere. But he’s too ambitious for that. Too creative. You can’t go wrong having a work ethic like him.
Your Dad, however, did his homework on Sunday night before it was due. You’re not allowed to do that.
There are so many more things:
Fashion sense: Me
Joke telling/Circus stunts and all around Revelry: Dad
Cooking: Dad. I really try and I’m a better baker, but I’d still say Dad.
Business Sense: Me. Though all credit goes to your Granddad.
Dancing: For partnering no one beats your Dad. In Top 40 club dancing however, you might want to take after your mama.
Relationships: I know this isn’t genetically predetermined, but how you love might be. Your dad and I are both full fledged, both feet in, Romantics. Your granny once told me (after yet another heartbreaking breakup) that maybe I should lower my standards a bit so I wouldn’t be disappointed all the time. I, of course, freaked out and told her that if someone like me existed – someone who didn’t do things at 60% in case something better came along or so they wouldn’t get hurt – then someone LIKE me had to exist too. I went on ONE date with your father and that was it. He was as 100% as I was. On our first Valentines he laid a path of rose petals from my front door all the way to the bed where they were scattered everywhere. He’d left me 3 gifts. One for our past. One for our present. One for our future. I cried that day because I was overwhelmed with happiness and relief. I’d finally found my match and I didn’t have to settle to do it. I’d still advise you to play it cool. Don’t smother or stalk. Never stalk. But love 100%. Don’t hedge your bets. Believe in the happy ending.
You’re genetically predisposed to get it.
I love you.