Justin Rocks Out the New Year by jtsanto

Justin Rocks Out the New Year

And so we end as we began. With smiles and celebration. On this occasion, I felt it was important to say something more, so I offer this open letter to my son on the last day of our 365 day photo project together.


You have taught me so much. About yourself. About your mother. But especially about life. You have taught me how much more there is to everything than just me and my worries. For two years now I've watched you grow and learn at an incredible, astonishing rate, and yet I've allowed small concerns to crowd your spotlight. They don't matter. I get that now. What used to be of such paramount importance should no longer carry weight unless it directly impacts you.

You. My son. My reflection, and the reflection of your stunning, lovely and immensely patient mother. My wife. I look at you every day and I see our marriage personified. The passion, the silliness, the creativity, the love. You are the sum of us, and this project documented so much of who we all are, although it was clearly all about you.

Justin, I never knew I could consider another person's well-being before my own until you arrived. I adored your mother to an extent I'd felt indescribable, but you brought about something new to me: a sense of fear, wonder, hope and unending, unparalleled devotion the likes of which fill the pages of history books. This is the motivation for all we do in life.

I used to say having a child is no big deal, that it is simply the most base thing any of us humans can do. And while it may be true that reproduction is common and without any real merit alone, I'm now convinced parenthood is a song we're all born to sing, but for some will be the greatest melody ever shared. You're the passion of the most heartfelt aria. You're the improvisations of each jazz piece riding an unpredictable bass-line. You're the perfect sprinkle of piano at just the right moment in any song. You're art. And as one who holds art among those most precious statements in life, I can say you're the most precious. The sum of two lives, you are are your parents' best creative expression. At the very root of what you are is the very root of what we are. It doesn't get more pure than that. There's very little space for interpretation when it comes to the canvas of impressionable youth.

So here we stand, together at the end of a year of seemingly immeasurable change, but still at the doorstep of your journey into this life. At the beginning of this odd artistic and journalistic exercise, you were unable to speak but for a few words, and your mobility was limited to simple crawling. Now you're a toddler – able to speak in sentences and run, jump and dance. Your enthusiasm for life is astonishing and overwhelming, and it's my hope that when you look back at this year of photographs you will understand all of what this was about: That you are life!

My life. Your mother's life. And, of course, your own, filled with new experiences, excitement, learning and – most of all – love. The love you've brought into our lives is beyond measure – spanning deeper than any ocean and further than the most distant star. It's a love so unique and powerful that I'm unsure you'll ever understand it fully until you have a child of your own.

I used to roll my eyes when people said this to me before you arrived, and maybe you'll do the same. But maybe you'll see the motivation of this project – a record of every single day of your second year of life – and you'll think “Wow!” Because that's what I think when I look at all these pictures. Wow. Wow how you've grown. Wow how you've learned. Wow how lucky I am to have you as a son.

I'd thank you for the opportunity to take photos of you daily, but let's be real: you didn't have a choice. Still, I want to say that while this was one of the most fulfilling endeavors upon which I've embarked, it is still superseded by another: that of being your dad.

And for that I'll never stop saying “thank you.”

I love you, son.

- Daddy

Jason, this is sobeautifully written from the heart; brings tears to my eyes, but you have captured the LOVE and what being a parent is all about! Enjoy the wonders of your son and family!!! xoxo Mal
January 1st, 2013  
Beautifully said. Very touching. I'm so impressed with the father you have become. Thank you for sharing all these great pictures, and your comments on them. -- Steve
January 1st, 2013  
This is just beautiful. Got me all teared up.
January 2nd, 2013  
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