Sweetie by Mark Healy


by Mark Healy

Sometimes we can’t tell our young children every truth of life—the good and the bad—as we have learned it. For Father’s Day, goop asked a few men to write letters to their children, to be read…not quite yet.

You’re fifteen now, and so we don’t lie to you like we used to. There used to be so many fictions to maintain—from the source of the silver dollar where you left your tooth under the pillow to the source of the smell from the back porch. We just don’t have that much to hide anymore. In fact, your secrets are about to get a lot more fun (and more worth guarding) than ours, but that’s a future conversation we’ll likely not have often or well enough. But we still keep plenty from you, and more truths than lies—stuff we don’t want to admit or explain or defend—stubborn heartache that’s always been and always will be. Stuff we don’t want to tell you because then it’ll somehow be made indelible, passing on to the next generation. So the world keeps a little something from you, and you, my friend, should keep a little something from it.

In the meantime, here are a few secrets it holds. Just remember, I didn’t tell you.

Motherhood is harder than it looks. Just promise you won’t make your mom admit that to you. Ever.

It doesn’t really matter where you go to college. People who are overly proud of where they went to college end up working for people who know better.

As of this writing, life is easier for straight, white, cisgender people whose parents paid for college. And that’s probably going to be true for a long time. Make sure you’re part of changing that.

Someday a totally magnetic, irresistibly positive, genuinely special person is going to come into your life and take you for all you’re worth and it’ll suck. But you’ll get over it, and you (probably) won’t get fooled again.

Selfies are stupid. And they’ll never not be stupid.

Oat milk is great when it’s really cold and you’re really high.

Intention matters. This won’t mean anything until you do something for the wrong reasons and feel frustrated by the results and cheapened that you went after it in the first place. It starts with people, collecting them because they provide some access to places and things and associations you covet. Later, it’ll be jobs or clothes or real estate or anything you trick yourself into thinking you need. And when you don’t get that job you wanted for any reason other than the work itself, or you don’t score that person you wooed for reasons other than that you loved being in their company, you will have learned a little about intention, the unavoidable role of your own, and the imperfect nature of others’.

LSD is weirdly good for your skin. I don’t know why.

People will almost always disappoint you, but they’ll also surprise you and humble you and restore your faith in humanity.

I’ve been around every day of your life, so I’m not bragging when I say that no one on earth has a better grasp of what a complete idiot I’ve often been throughout those days. Just about everything I worried about you getting—the right homeroom teacher, the optimal sleepover circuit, a grasp of how to write a topic sentence and follow it up with three pieces of independent evidence—held absolutely no sway whatsoever over the person you are now. You are who you were always going to be. And you’re magnificent.

That said, eventually, the world will have its way with you. But you’ll also have your way with it, and I’ll willing to bet you’ll come out ahead.

And another thing I should tell you more often: I couldn’t be prouder.

Love, Dad