My dear children, it is with some regret that I must announce that despite the growing phenomena of parents addressing letters of praise directly to their kids on Facebook, extolling, inter alia, their brains, their beauty and the munificence of their physical and mental attributes, I’ve reluctantly decided to stick with the somewhat dated practice of talking to you directly and sending you the odd personal letter or note of encouragement. In point of fact, this will be the first and last message I’ll ever address directly to you in public forum.
Your Dad, being something of a curmudgeon, will not be telling you how “awesome” you are, he being sufficiently old-fashioned to consider this modifier as belonging only to the Creator Himself.
I’ll also not be praising your physical beauty or your brains, the existence of any modicum thereof being entirely due to the vagaries of Mother Nature and genetics and entirely without your ambit of control.
Your Mother and I will however be the first in line to give you a hug, to pick up the phone, or to send you the odd little note to tell you how very proud we are when you exhibit signs of character – especially when such is evidenced in trying circumstances and where the decisions you make are the morally right ones, with scant regard for your own needs.
We will be moved beyond measure when we see you treat all men as equal, with regard for all and disdain for none, and when we see you commit random acts of kindness without expectation of reward or need of praise.
We will be overjoyed by seemingly small gestures and thoughtful acts that daily point to the depth of love and caring you share for each other and for your family.
While your educational, sporting, and work-related achievements will of course be a source of quiet pride and cause for celebration with yourselves, family and close friends, I regret that I am suited neither by nature, proclivity nor temperament to the role of chief-praise-singer and would suggest that should you find yourselves in need of such, you: a) reassess your priorities, and; b) in the unfortunate event that such assessment still finds you wanting, you find some way to gain access to President Zuma’s contact list.
As for your mom and I, we’ll be adding your successes and achievements – both small and large – to our ever-growing mental scrapbooks, and will hold these, as we do you, close to our hearts – always!
Your old curmudgeonly, but loving, Dad