How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Birthday Boy Version 3.0

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Dear Finn,

Today is your 3rd birthday. You’re now 94,694,400 seconds old and, as such, you deserve to be applauded for putting up with the stupidity of adults, and monotony of a more routinized life.

As part of my annual tribute to your radness, here are 16 photos from each three-month quarter of your life. You’re an incredible boy who will grow, if I do my job and stay well enough out of things, into an incredible young man one day.

As a gift, I’m hoping our readers today will leave a comment below with their advice, a funny story, a birthday wish or anything they’d care to share. Then, I’ll collect their wisdom and their well-wishes to give you something better than a toy. I’m going to put this in a journal to give to you when you’re older.

Love,

Your Dad

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FINNEGAN!

December 2011 to October 2011

 
 
 
 

March 2012 to January 2012

 
 
 
 

June 2012 to April 2012

 
 
 
 

Today to July 2012

 
 
 
 

Please also share this post and put the word out far and wide. Help me celebrate him and gain the wisdom of the Internet. He deserves it.

PLEASE POST YOUR BIRTHDAY ADVICE & STORIES!

See last year’s BIRTHDAY BOY VERSION 2.0
Little, babier, different. 

35 Comments

35 Responses to “Birthday Boy Version 3.0”

  1. ddywgn says:

    Dear Finn, may you bring joy and humor to all you encounter through life. You will learn from mistakes, have great triumphs, and have the world before you change drastically. Best thing you can do is be a great dad, from what I have been able to observe fron the internet, you have a pretty awesome example. Go Rule The World!

  2. Julia says:

    (This deserves a very good answer. Let me think about it and I’ll be right back with something worthy of your blog… or not, but hopefully yes).

    • Julia says:

      Dear Finn,

      Being three years old was an amazing experience to me. My oldest memories date of that year, which was when I first met most of my family (they were all in political exile… things of being Latin American born in the 70’s).

      Being three was about running faster, jumping higher, stay longer on the swings and doing grown up stuff, like singing songs, drawing and reading books. It was also about the excitement of being a big sister, of talking to people I’d met on the phone, on remembering names and places.

      My oldest memories date from that time, and they’re all good. I wish the same to you, dear Finn. Happy birthday

  3. Emily says:

    Dear Finn,

    Happy birthday! Stay curious. Stay silly. Keep dressing up, every day. Keep reading, every day. Be kind. Be as patient as you can with others. Be as nice as you can to girls. Use words instead of hands when you’re angry. Floss. Don’t beg for a car when you’re 16; beg for one when you’ve finished college. Study everything hard, but study what you love most of all, so that you can make a career out of it. Bring your spouse flowers for no reason at all. Take your kids out for ice cream after their bedtime, at least twice a year.

    That should cover the next 30 years or so…34 is as far as I’ve gotten, and I’m doing pretty well. Happy birthday, again.

    -Emily

  4. Happy birthday, Finnegan! When I saw the picture of you with the cow I shouted, “Finn is pushing over a cow!” This is a side effect of having grown up in the middle of nowhere where disturbing sleeping livestock is considered an appropriate past time. Thank your parents for choosing to live in civilization. Your parents rock. (and ask if they’ll adopt me)

  5. Mimi says:

    Happy birthday, Finn! My son is also 3 years old today!
    I suppose the best advice I can give is to respect and love yourself and respect and love others (especially your parents). The world can always use more kindness, tolerance, and love. :)
    If you’re half as awesome as your dad seems to be, you’re probably headed into an awesome future. Have fun and remember not to take yourself too seriously!

  6. Jacquelyn from Alberta says:

    Grow up to be the man that people complement your parents on raising. Laugh lots, play frequently and find yourself a nice Canadian girl to settle down with.

  7. Heather says:

    Dear Finn, I’m giving you advice that I’m just starting to realize- you will never be defined or just one thing. People will never fully understand you and you will never fully understand anyone else. We are too complex and trying to limit yourself to what can be completely explained and understeed is uncomfortable at best and stifling at worst. Be okay with being undefined. May you be part of a smarter, bright future. Heather.

  8. Tanja says:

    Dear Finn,
    Happy Birthday to you!
    The only thing I would like to give as an advice to you is something I learned from a certain swedish girl:
    „Lass dich nicht unterkriegen, sei frech und wild und wunderbar!“
    Astrid Lindgren (Werk: Pippi Langstrumpf)
    And I hope that one day, you will understand your parents and appreciate what they have done, as much as we do.

  9. Happy Birthday Finn! I loved looking at your photos – you’re a sweetheart – that’s for sure. I especially liked the look that you had in your eyes in that spiderman (superhuman) outfit. Keep on loving, playing and being nice to others. Diane

  10. Dear Finn,
    Always laugh. Let your silly parents make you giggle, even when you’re a grown-up, too. Find goofy ways to make the most boring road tips fun. Put a smile on your face when you fall down. Make friends who get you laughing so hard your belly hurts. Hold on tight to all of this joy, because it will serve you well. It will make Life lighter. It will keep you happy, no matter what. And all kids deserve that.
    Happy birthday little dude.
    Kim

  11. Jess says:

    Finn,

    Happy birthday, big guy. Wow. A whole 36 months old. I turned 312 months old just a few months ago and it was pretty awesome. The best part was looking back on all the radness that my parents gave me. I know he may be a total weirdo to you today, tomorrow, or yesterday, but that dad dude of yours, you know the one, The Man With A Million Faces, he’s done some pretty stellar stuff. He’s shared with a LOT of people how super you are. And you are pretty super. Never lose the spirit and fire and gusto you have for changing the world. We’ve all seen it blossom in the few short years you’ve graced our universe and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that’s been fortunate enough to know who you are that will disagree that you’re destined for great things, Finnegan.

    But more than that, you have served as a means for your pops to help other papas and mamas be rad for their kids. When you have a brood of humans all your own, you’re sort of going to be one of the lucky dads with a direct source to the arsenal that’ll carry you through. You get the manual that every parent has wished for and you should totally hug your dad for that. Go on. He may be old and wrinkly and smell like ointments, but it’s cool. He’ll totally love it.

    Oh yeah. Don’t forget to laugh. A lot. Especially at yourself. Life is going to be no fun if you don’t.

    Happy Birthday, bud.

    Now go on. Go eat so much cake you barf, mkay?

  12. Avitable says:

    Dear Finn,

    I don’t know anything about kids, but I’ll try to leave something worthwhile as a birthday comment. Happy third birthday! I imagine that by this age, you probably already have a job, so one important piece of advice I can give you is to aim high. If you’re unhappy in your job, find something in life that is a passion and focus on that. If you have the chance to do what makes you happy and earn a living, go for that. I’m sure at three your prospects are limited, and you’re probably working in a coal mine or sewing clothes in a factory, but just be the best damned coal miner or sewing boy that you can be!

    Also, make sure to love everyone equally, regardless of race, background, gender, and sexual orientation. For example, I’m a straight man, but your dad has really pretty eyes and I’d totally fuck him if he’d let me call him Charlize. Don’t judge me for my choices.

    Happy birthday, and try not to blow all of your birthday money on strippers and coke!

    – Uncle Avitable

  13. Hop-on-Pop says:

    H.A.P.P.Y B.I.R.T.H.D.A.Y ! To Finnegan. Thank you all for sharing all the wonderful posts and experiences. I have 2 boys under 2 years old.. the oldest will be 2 in October as well !

    Happy Birthday to you !
    Happy Birthday to you !
    Happy Birthday to Finnegan
    Happy Birthday to you !

    Have a GREAT day !

  14. katilda says:

    i will leave you with two motivating statements for life:
    1. “You’re afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be.” Ray Bradbury
    2. “Nobody puts baby in a corner.” Patrick Swayze

  15. Alannah says:

    My dear Finn,

    You’re amazing. I know you know that already, but chances are, you’re going to forget it at some point. You might not even remember it until you’re looking at your own three-year-old boy.

    Then you’ll remember: You are amazing.

    Much love,
    Alannah (and Tristan, who will be in your cohort when you start school)

  16. Vanina says:

    Happy Birthday, Fin! I hope you grow up happy, careless and loved!

  17. Sukhdev says:

    May infinite blessings and prosperity from all the universe be with you throughout your lifetime, and may your light, compassion and love touch the hearts of many!

  18. Bren says:

    Happy Birthday Finnegan!

  19. Happy Birthday Finnegan! Your name holds a place close to me as it was the same as the lovable puppet dog on the Canadian TV series Mr Dressup. Also, don’t look that up because it was a terrible show but it was all we had back then and also, I’m Canadian, which means that it was slighty underproduced…

    Anyway, I guess I’ll share some advice for the future. Pearl Jam is awesome. By the time you are 16, you will probably be into some weird, new age virtual device that embeds sounds into your brain, but if you get a chance to pop in a Pearl Jam “CD” (This is a small disc, used in a portable machine or even cars), I absolutely recommend you do it.

    Finally, love and cherish every moment you have with your parents. It’s clear from following your parents’ online activity (sounds creepy, it’s not) that they love you very much. It’s easy to forget that when you are older and finding your own way, but as someone who lost a father too early, I can tell you that it’s important to take advantage of the time you have with them. So when you are 16 and your Dad asks if you want to go fishing for the weekend, just say yes. It may seem like a waste of a weekend to you but it means the world to him and it’s something neither of you will ever forget.

    Cheers!

  20. Happy birthday, Finn. It was great having you over to play with my boys. We should do it again soon now that you’re all grown up and stuff.

  21. Maria says:

    Happy Birthday little dude!! I think your dad has been pretty lucky these past three years getting to spend everyday watching you grow up. I hope you continue to enlighten the people around you and fill their hearts with joy. Hopefully you get a little something in return as well =)

  22. Regina says:

    Hope you have a great birthday!!!!

  23. JustADaughter says:

    Hey Finn, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :D
    I know you’ll be a great boy, and then a great man, because with a father like your one nothing else could happen… ;) so keep growing and don’t worry too much for the future! It always arrives, one second after another, so you shouldn’t fret about it. Think about all the beautiful things you can do every day to make your and your beloved’s lives beautiful. Keep growing, Finn, because it’s an adventure :)
    Again, happy birthday!!

  24. Chris says:

    Happy Birthday Finnegan! Your name holds a place close to me as it was the same as the lovable puppet dog on the Canadian TV series Mr Dressup. Also, don’t look that up because it was a terrible show but it was all we had back then and also, I’m Canadian, which means that it was slightly under produced…

    Anyway, I guess I’ll share some advice for the future. Pearl Jam is awesome. By the time you are 16, you will probably be into some weird, new age virtual device that embeds sounds into your brain, but if you get a chance to pop in a Pearl Jam “CD” (This is a small disc, used in a portable machine or even cars), I absolutely recommend you do it.

    Finally, love and cherish every moment you have with your parents. It’s clear from following your parents’ online activity (sounds creepy, it’s not) that they love you very much. It’s easy to forget that when you are older and finding your own way, but as someone who lost a father too early, I can tell you that it’s important to take advantage of the time you have with them. So when you are 16 and your Dad asks you to go fishing with him on the weekend, say yes. It might seem like a waste of a weekend to you, but to him it means the world and will create a memory you will hold forever.

    Cheers!

  25. Laurie says:

    Aww I love this!! Happy Birthday Finn!

  26. Melissa says:

    Happy Birthday! You seem to have great parents and are very blessed. Enjoy your time with them!

  27. Ang says:

    Happy Birthday Finn! Celebrate big because life is full of little opportunities to have big parties. also if you have not seen these movies by the time your dad lets you read this journal, then you must go download them immediately to your personal movie viewing eyegear.
    1. the 3 amigos
    2. spaceballs
    3. so i married an axe murderer
    Enjoy!

  28. Gale says:

    Finn, enjoy being a kid! Every moment of it! And when you’re an adult, enjoy being an adult too! But remember that even when you’re all grown-up it’s ok to act like a kid sometimes.

    Happy Birthday!

  29. Coco Cana says:

    Awww! Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Boy! I’m guessing you are a Spirited Child from the look in your eyes, no? My 4 1/2 yr old daughter has that same twinkle. ;-) My little guy will be 2 on Sunday and he shares your name as his middle name. His name is Ely Finn. I wrote this little poem as a tribute to him about a month ago in anticipation of his 2nd birthday. I was feeling like he was growing up way too fast and I needed to hold on to some of the little things he does and says so I can remember them when he’s older. One day you will be a daddy I’m sure and you’ll know what I mean by that. The poem is called “Someday” and I bet it will remind your parents of you a bit too. Happy #3 big boy! http://mytalesfromthecrib.blogspot.com/2012/08/someday.html

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Happy Birthday Gorgeous Lad!! I wish I were better with words but let me say this: laugh (a lot), run (just not into a wall), play (as often as you can), giggle (just because it’s fun), roll on the floor (just because you can) and make snow angels wherever and whenever you can, and hug your parents and kiss them at least once a day. Adventure awaits you, enjoy!

  31. Hannah says:

    Dear Finn,

    Happiest of birthday wishes to you, sweet boy. It sure is fun to see you grow up through your dad’s blog posts.

    My husband and I keep a journal of letters for our little boy (who is a year and a half younger than you), and I think that it’s pretty awesome that your dad is putting together this journal of special birthday wishes (maybe from all over the country? the world?) for you.

    My wish for you today is that you would spend the next year of your life playing hard, learning lots, and growing many friendships with buddies. I hope that you see love, grace and compassion modeled for you every day, that you are treated with gentle care and that you would do the same for others (as much as a three-year old boy can!).

    Happy birthday, Finnegan!

  32. Chris R says:

    Happy Birthday Finnegan! Your name holds a place close to me as it was the same as the lovable puppet dog on the Canadian TV series Mr Dressup. Also, don’t look that up because it was a terrible show but it was all we had back then and also, I’m Canadian, which means that it was slighty underproduced…

    Anyway, I guess I’ll share some advice for the future. Pearl Jam is awesome. By the time you are 16, you will probably be into some weird, new age virtual device that embeds sounds into your brain, but if you get a chance to pop in a Pearl Jam “CD” (This is a small disc, used in a portable machine or even cars), I absolutely recommend you do it.

    Finally, love and cherish every moment you have with your parents. It’s clear from following your parents’ online activity (sounds creepy, it’s not) that they love you very much. It’s easy to forget that when you are older and finding your own way, but as someone who lost a father too early, I can tell you that it’s important to take advantage of the time you have with them. So when you are 16 and your Dad asks you to go fishing with him on the weekend, say yes. It might seem like a waste of a weekend to you, but to him it means the world and will create a memory you will hold forever.

    Cheers!

  33. Jess says:

    Finn, always remember that no matter what anyone else tells you… YOU ARE AWESOME!

    Happy Birthday!!!

    :)

  34. Chris D says:

    My wife’s nephews name is Finn, so I smile a little more when I see posts relating to you as he is a lot like you. Don’t ever forget the Beatles, play as much as life will allow, even when your 40 with your own kids. Forgive your parents when you are a teenager and they embarrass you and laugh as often as you can, it’s good for the soul.

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