I spent nine months going out to eat with your mother when she was pregnant with you. We ate a lot of Mexican and a lot of Scalini’s during that time. Of course, there were other food cravings, but I determined you were going to come out of her womb, asking for Coke (Coca-Cola) because that was the only thing she could not give up while pregnant with you. The good news is you did not come out screaming BRING ME A COKE. But you did finally grace us with your presence, and despite not being able to stay in the room long to see you the first time, I think I made up for that the first like six years of your life.
My goals were different from your mother’s goals. She had the job of raising you, and I had the responsibility of spoiling you and getting you into all the nerdy stuff I was into as a kid. I know you do not remember this, but your first book was Green Eggs and Ham. I read that to you on your changing table, and you just stared at me, all adorable and cute. That was the book I drove my mom nuts with as a child, so I was determined you had to read that book to you. And I believe your mom probably still has this picture, but it’s me in a yellow shirt, and I held you for the duration of the original Spider-Man movie. Yes, the Sam Raimi version.
By the way, when you do go to college, and you want to explore actual horror films, check out Raimi. He’s funny AND gory. Trust me on this one. I say all this because they remain fond memories for me. One of the funniest ones in hindsight was when Batman Begins came out. They had all these behind the scenes tidbits on this channel at the time that was upcoming films. I’m sure a channel still exists like that, but I remember showing them to you as I sat on the floor and pointed and was like THAT IS BATMAN, AND HE’S AMAZING. You could clap at that time, and you actually clapped, and your mom just shook her head. Little did she know I planted a seed.
At least I think I like to think I planted that seed, regardless, I’m glad that we have made that our thing over the years. I still cannot believe we went through a whole phase of the MCU together. I wish more than anything I had a picture of you when we saw Iron Man together. I remember thinking during the sex scene, ‘Tiffany is going to kill me,” and then, later on, she agreed to let us take you to see Ted so that now seems like a moot point. Once you talked her into letting you rent the unrated version, that phone call was hilarious. She was stunned. I was not having grown up with Family Guy. Rated R MacFarlane is not the same as Family Guy MacFarlane.
Anyway, I bring all this up to remind you for all the crap that has happened and all the crap you have had to endure; life can be pretty awesome. Life is incredible when there is not a pandemic going on. And you were supposed to graduate today. I know you will eventually walk across the stage. You are going to hear a commencement speech. When this does occur, it’s not going to be a tragic time. It will not turn into something sad ultimately. We will all take the necessary precautions to see you walk. Do you know why? Because you EARNED this. YOU.
As much as the people around us into who we become, ultimately, we also make that decision for ourselves, and you made one hell of a choice. You are by far one of the most talented, funniest, smartest, and the list of adjectives I could use could go on forever because you’re everything. To simply put it, you’re simply the best. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. There are going to be times where you do not feel that way. Your self-esteem might give you some doubts or two along the way but take those risks. Do what you want to do in life, and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot.
Everybody’s journey is different. Your journey will be different from mine, your mom’s mission, and your dad’s path. But ultimately, your journey is going to be the ride of a lifetime because it yours. Please do not fall into the trap of thinking it all has to happen by ______ point in my life. Time is a construct. You will get there when you get there, and you should take risks. I will be honest with you here; I feel like I take more risks now in my thirties than I ever did in my twenties. Is this the norm? No, not in the least, but you have to remember that if you are not trying to do what you genuinely want, life is running you instead of you running it.
And when in doubt, there is always Batman’s words of encouragement. If your commencement speaker brings up LeeAnn Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” go back and listen to this. It’s not a bad song, but seriously people should stop using it at commencements. It’s overdone. In all seriousness, though, know that you can do and be anything you put your mind to because you are that amazing. Also, if your path takes you to the Oscars, don’t forget that when you were two, and your mom asked who you would take, you said My-My. Do your Godson a solid if that happens and let me meet McConaughey.
I love you. You’re the best Godson a Godmother could ever ask for and then some. Go kick some ass!