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for Keenan, if you find this

Yesterday when I picked you up from school you said to me: “Today we got to do whatever we want to in school. Guess what I did?”

I guessed that you made music on an iPad, because I know how much you love iPads and I know you want to be the first 8-year-old to make dubstep music. But I was wrong. You said:

“Nope. Today I read the story you wrote about Toby. It was cute.”

It made me smile to think about you at school during do-whatever-you-want time, reading about our sweet pupper and how you found him almost a year ago when you went to walk dogs at the Humane Society.

Later I thought about what else you will find when you search up “micah j murray”. You’ll find pictures of you and Emmett when you were younger. You’ll find things I’ve written about God and church. You’ll find out that I use a lot of swear words when I write.

Back when you were a baby, a lot of people like me wrote about their lives on the internet. A lot of people wrote about their kids, and said some embarrassing things about their kids too. Now those kids are in third grade just like you and just like you they are searching up their parents’ names and finding stuff that their parents wrote. (Well, most of those kids are actually in like fifth or sixth grade — but you read way more than most kids your age.)

I haven’t written about you on my website very much, so I’m not worried about you finding something that would be embarrassing here. You’ll write your own stories someday, and I want you to have a chance to do that when you are ready. I have mentioned you a few times though — I wrote about the time you and Emmett wore Spiderman costumes to church, and I wrote a story called “Here’s to the Children” about the stuff I learn from you. I can’t believe it’s already been four years since I wrote those stories.

No, I’m not worried about you reading the stories I’ve written about you. But I’m a little bit worried about you reading the stories I’ve written about me. If you keep reading stories on my website, you’ll figure out that I am really sad sometimes, and that I say some rude things about God sometimes, and that there are so very many things I don’t know.

This is my first time being a Dad, and I’m not sure exactly the right way to do it. Is it good for a kid to know ┬áthat his dad is sad sometimes? Is it good for a kid to know that his dad says rude things about God sometimes? Is it good for a kid to know that there are many things his dad doesn’t know? I don’t know.

I want you to just be able to enjoy being a kid. You’ll be a grownup someday, and there will be plenty of time to worry about grown up stuff when that day comes. Kids shouldn’t have to worry about the stuff that parents have to worry about. I wish there was a way to protect you — at least for a little bit — from some of the really painful, confusing, sad parts of life. But you are a curious and thoughtful kid and you read all the time and you probably already know more than I realize you do.

So if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I love you and I am so very proud of you. If you find things here on my website that are weird or confusing, you can ask me about it. You can ask me anything.

I hope you’re having an awesome day, and can’t wait to see you after school.

Love, Dad

picture by Sarah Deshields

published January 17, 2019

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