Letter to My Sons #38

Dear Đạo,

Thank you for writing me a letter explaining your reasons for getting another phone to replace your broken one. I wanted you to write them down so that you will remember your own words so I won’t have to repeat myself over and over again.

The most challenging part of being a parent is worrying too much about your kids. On many occasions, my words had fallen on deaf ears. Many times, I just wanted to leave you to your own devices and not say a word. Can I still love you, but I don’t have to care? It is impossible for me to do. I have to care for you if I love you.

As an inexperienced parent, I had made too many mistakes. I thought being involved with your kids was all that I needed to do. I was so wrong. You have your own interests and they don’t align with mine. That should be fine. I have learned to accept it.

As a parent, my goal is for you to be proud of yourself, not for me to be proud of you. I am not pushing you to go the extra mile for your education. I just want you to complete your assignments and keep up your grades. In your letter, you indicate that you understand why I stress that school is your first priority.

Trust me, studying and earning good grades will pay off later in life. You only have three more years of high school left. Time will fly by and you will need to be prepared. You learn how to learn now so that later you will have a much easier time in college and your life.

You are a good reader and an excellent writer. These two essential skills will get you through anything in life. The only reason you were falling behind was that you didn’t put in the effort. You let your phone and your computer distract you. Again, the rules will apply if you don’t keep up your school work. So enjoy your new phone, but don’t forget your priorities.


Letter from Đạo

Dear Dad,

You requested that I write this letter, explanations for the use of a phone. This letter is also to explain the consequences if my grades slip. Here we go.

Use 1: Navigation. Phones with a GPS can be useful, to help me navigate around when we travel, an easily accessible map, compass, and other useful navigation tools, including letting you send me exact, pinpoint directions to you or places where you want me to go. I also need a device to call if I get into trouble and I need emergency services

Use 2: Communication. Assuming I have a sim card, and I have cell service, I can call and text you and mom. This can be useful when you want to find me, tell me something useful, or just need me to grab you something from downstairs. A phone will also let me talk to my friends, both through text and call. By being able to talk to my friends, we can make plans to hang out, bring stuff to events, help each other with homework, and keep up to date with things going on.

Use 3: Entertainment. Not really a “useful” thing, but a phone can keep me entertained, whether it be watching videos to playing games. I won’t do these most of the time, as they take a hit on battery and cellular data. I also like to use my phone as an audio player to listen to music.

Use 4: Writing. This has its own category, because you know I did this on my old phone a lot. Writing in the car is the main reason I have written over 200 pages of a story. The writing is also how I cure boredom in the car during long drives to Vermont.

Use 5: Memories. I don’t want to go somewhere I might never go again and not have something to say for it. A phone will let me take great photos and will allow me to store them for a few years, and to enjoy them later down the line.

I understand the consequences of bad grades, both in the present and in the future. In the present, grades mean you will ground me, take my laptop, and my phone. In the future, poor grades can limit my chances to get into a good college, a good job, and progressing in life. I understand that as my dad, you are concerned for my future, and want to make sure I turn out right.

Your Son,

Bonjour Vietnam