The family has been blessed with a new addition: Hunter Wild Anderson, born Saturday to my step-brother Brian and sister-in-law Sharane.
I’m you’re Uncle Bill, the one who’s going to show affection by teasing you a lot. I’ll do my best not to go too far. I listen to really loud, offensive music. I can’t wait to expose you to that.
Your cousins have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. Sean and Duncan, Lilly and Chase are going to love having you around. It won’t be long before you join them, racing around your grandparents’ condo, making forts out of the couch pillows and getting food on the floor.
You’re blessed with easygoing parents. Your mom knows how to laugh and make others laugh. Your dad has been through more than his fair share of adversity but has managed to stay positive and keep his humor. Together, your parents are a lot of fun. They’ll surely pass those traits on to you, and thank God for that.
Life is hard, and humor is one of the most important survival tools you can have. Your dad is also a professional chef. This makes you incredibly lucky, because high-end cooks are hard to come by in this family. You’ll figure that out the first time I cook something for you.
You have grandparents who will dote on you and love you unconditionally. You also have some fabulous aunts, uncles and cousins. Aunt Shira is one of the most serene and talented people I know. She’ll teach you how to dance and, when you’re being difficult as we all can be, she’ll respond with endless patience. Aunt Stacey, Uncle Sean and Lilly and Chase are very loving, generous souls, and that’s going to rub off on you, too. Aunt Wendi will give you a special appreciation for music and, along with Aunt Dee, will pass on a love of animals. Their house has enough dogs and cats to fill Noah’s Arc. You’ll enjoy that.
Life won’t be easy. You’ll go through plenty of ups and downs. But let me share a little secret with you: The key to getting through the down periods with your overall happiness intact is to simply recognize that life is supposed to be hard. It’s what helps us grow. And there’s no such thing as never having a care in the world. Some folks still reach for that state of mind, and they’re almost always crushed when reality fails to meet their expectations.
If you want, I can help you navigate through that stuff. I’ve developed some coping skills along the way. You’re going to screw up. Don’t worry about it. We all do. Screwing up makes us stronger when we’re willing to learn from our mistakes.
One more thing, my young friend: If you ever want to do something big in life and those around you tell you it can’t be done, ignore them. You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. That’s a cliché of a statement, but it’s the truth.
As I write this you’re only a couple days old. Sean, Duncan, Aunt Erin and I can’t wait to meet you.
You’re going to be great, kid. Welcome home.