Dear Nick & Dave:

I can’t believe this day has arrived! To you, it may feel like it has taken an eternity to reach your 18th birthday. To me, however, the last dozen and a half years have been a blur. It’s also been the greatest period of my life.

I was fortunate that you came into this world during an era when it’s no longer taboo for a father to say, “I love you,” to his sons. But the depth of that love is something you won’t truly grasp until you become a father.

So what has changed? Not a lot, really. It’s still ‘our house, our rules.’

Oh, and you’re now old enough to do the dumbest thing you could ever possibly do. The worst decision I ever made was to buy that first pack of cigarettes. Luckily, you’re both a hell of a lot smarter than I was at your age.

As far as advice goes, I’ll repeat the same old things I’ve been pounding into your heads for years:

  • Always think before you do. Every decision you make could potentially change the direction of the rest of your life.
  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Even people you don’t like or respect.
  • Give driving the respect it deserves. Getting behind the wheel when you’re distracted, mad, or buzzed is a game changer, and can have unthinkable consequences.

Several Cars 108 listeners (see below) weighed in with some good advice as well.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you both how proud I am of you, and address you individually.

Dave:  From the time in first grade when you told me you planned to get a job that didn’t require reading (because that would be preferable to learning to read), to the time you proclaimed that “it’s easier being dumb” (because you weren’t required to do homework during the summer), you have always cracked me up, and done so effortlessly. And by the way, you are anything but dumb. Maybe, you’re not the book-smart showoff that your brother is, but your common sense and street smarts will serve you well. You’re a compassionate, driven, and hard-working young man. I couldn’t be prouder.

Nick:  Some accuse you of being my clone, and that makes me beam with pride. I also offer you my apologies. It has been a delight watching you grow into your own person who has owned and embraced his intellect and idiosyncrasies. I’m thankful to have a partner in crime who shoots me a glance when someone in our presence makes even the slightest grammatical mistake. You have the ability to take ridiculousness to a whole new level. Just remember to read the room. Not everyone will appreciate your sarcastic take on life as much as I do.

Happy birthday, gentlemen. This world is lucky to have you.