Daddy's Issue: Letter to my son Luca 

by Kevin Aldrich

Daddy’s Issue is a series of personal essays where we try to discover what causes the strong connection or disconnect between fathers and sons, older generations and the young. Today we asked our friend, photographer Kevin Aldrich, who met his future wife Kateryna in the City of Love and moved to Paris to follow her—the love of his life. Recently Kevin became a father himself, and here is his beautiful letter to his son Luca.

To my son Luca,

Thirty-five years ago, I was born to a mother and father who decided to bring another life into this world. As I sit here and write this letter to you, my mind becomes filled with happy memories of what my childhood was like with my father. By the time you are old enough to read this, many things will have changed in this world, but one thing will always remain the same: I will always be your papa.

I remember in the early 90s, driving from Georgia to Florida to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and feel the sand on my feet. I remember summers spent in Connecticut, driving home from a long day of exploring Hammonasset Beach State Park and eating ice cream at Les’. I remember fishing for trout in the Chattahoochee River and making sure that I had all my tackle. During each of these trips, my dad was there to help lift me up when I fell, tell me when to be patient when I felt frustrated, or to just let me eat ice cream even when I wasn’t supposed to—those were the days!

Now as a father, I begin to understand, or at least scratch the surface, of how he might have felt all those years ago. I feel motivated, strong, a bit nervous, excited, tired, euphoric, and probably many other things. That’s what happens knowing that I am the backbone of your existence, at least until you are old enough to make decisions on your own. All these feelings that I have push me to strive for the best scenarios that will allow you to develop. I hope that I can live up to that expectation. My life before you were born consisted of many responsibilities, but none of which had amounted to such a great responsibility as caring for you. The day you were born, I knew that the one thing that would change instantly was that the love that I have for you and Kateryna would grow and be even stronger. To me, nothing else would change. Sure, I have a little less sleep, a little less time alone, and I will have to spend a little bit more money, but in my opinion, having you doesn’t change our way of living. Kateryna and I wanted to bring you into this world and into the life we live. I believe that’s how my father chose to use his time as a parent, how your grandparents chose to raise their daughter, and how a family can grow together.

As a son, I always looked up to my father. Sometimes he struggled, sometimes we argued, but in doing so, it strengthened our bond. I felt it was my obligation to not only live up to his standards, but to surpass them. I must say, though, in looking back through the years and being the age that I am now, sometimes it was hard to rationalize and perceive all that my father has done and will continue to do in my life. That’s something you will have to learn the older you get as well. I’m not giving you all the answers, Luca, and I am not sure that I have all the answers to your questions you will ask me one day. But, if I were you, I would never stop asking.



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