Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

My Hopes for You Kids

When all you kids are grown up, there are many things I hope I don’t pass on to you.

I hope you don’t get my short height, or uncontrollably growing hair. I hope you don’t pick your nose or intermittently chew with your mouth open. I hope you don’t worry as much about what others think of you or be as beholden to pleasing others, as I am. I hope you don’t have as much youthful arrogance as I did. I always wanted to go on a road trip of the western national parks with your Dada, but we didn’t get to it in time before he passed away. I want to be around much longer, and I hope you don’t have to live with a regret like that.

I hope it doesn’t take you as long to realize how important family is in your life. Perhaps even more, I hope it takes you less time than it took me to open your heart to God.

I hope you don’t get my receding gums or my weak hips. I hope you don’t get my dreadful fear of being alone. I hope you don’t get gout, high cholesterol, or diabetes. I hope you don’t get my knack for verbose answers to simple questions. I hope you don’t get my outdoor allergies or my anxieties about failure. I hope you don’t get my temper or my weakness for fried potatoes.

Most of all, I hope you don’t get my tendency to obsesses over my imperfections, like I am doing now. I hope that if I try with my whole heart, that I can prevent you kids thinking that you’re not enough or not really that good at anything, like your pops does. I pray with my full heart and soul that you believe that what you’ve been given is enough, and that it is special.

Which leaves me in a predicament. Because I know that what you see me doing is what I will pass onto you. I can’t just hope not to pass these liabilities onto you, I have to change some of them. And the hardest change for me is self-worth: really believing that I have at least a few special gifts to pass onto you.

And so while I outline the things I hope I don’t pass to you, I must also try to tell you about at least a few parts of me that I do hope to share with you. Because I must learn to believe something of myself for you all to believe something of you.

I hope you get my curiosity and penchant for asking questions. I hope you get my openness to seeing the good in people who are rough around the edges. I hope you get my patience and love of a good bass drop. I hope you get your Dada’s honesty and your Dadi’s energy. I hope your mother and I can pass on at least a few lessons on how to build a strong, loving marriage. Perhaps most of all, I hope I can pass on the habits of reflection, spending time in nature, and reading.

My hopes are not enough, but perhaps they are a good start.