An open letter to my kids and their world.
Dear Sunshine Personified, Daddy’s Little Drop of Sunshine and Sunspot Baby,
As each of you has joined our family I’ve always wondered if I’ll ever be able to express the thoughts and emotions that have flooded my consciousness.
Perhaps one day you’ll feel it too.
Life changes in unimaginable ways.
The emotions you feel are ephemeral.
I think I’ve found a brief way to express the way I feel about you in this moment.
I hope you never reach you goals.
Depending on what stage you’ve reached in life when you find this, this statement may strike you as odd. At first glance that statement appears to say
I don’t want you to succeed and that I want you to fail.
That is not my intent.
I do want you to succeed and I do want you to fail. You will.
Never outgrow the wonder of what you’ll be when you grow up. I hope you keep the expectation that you can grow to be more than you are. Growing up isn’t an age. Growing up is not a job, a career, or position that you covet. Growing up is learning to be comfortable in who you are while continuing to develop yourself. Don’t lose the idea that you can develop yourself. You will.
Never stop reading. Maintain your excitement in discovering what happens in unknown and unimagined places. Get lost in rabbit holes but always find your way back out to explore new worlds. There will be times when it seems that you won’t be able to read another page for enjoyment. You will.
Make yourself a solid ladder
I remember a fire safety lesson from my childhood that suggested keeping a rope ladder by your window if you were on an upper floor of a home. This would make it possible to escape without jumping if the house was on fire. Your own personal fire escape.
As a former lifeguard I also picture the ladder on the side of a pool or dock. A few solid steps going down into the water, there for you to help pull yourself out.
A network of friends, family and loved ones (related or not) who can be there for you so that you get down more easily from a high spot if its burning or climb up from the depths we all sometimes reach.
Play those video games. Have some screen time. Enjoy yourself. There is something to be learned there.
Swing on your rope swing. Make it your time.
Have a chocolate chip muffin every morning if that is what makes you happy.
Then get yourself up and go outside. Find a spot in nature to listen and just be.
Sit in the sun on a warm day and breathe.
Let yourself dream. Then as you grow, don’t get hung up on ideas from the past. Let your dreams grow with you.
I hope you never reach your goals.