Dear daughter, Dear son
Be kind. I will show you how.
Be strong in who you are, but flexible. Allow for change. Make room inside yourself for growth, even when it scares you. Especially when it scares you. I hope I’ve shown you what bravery looks like.
Listen deeply, as I do to you.
Speak confidently, as you see me do in life.
When someone needs help be there as a friend. I will show you what friendship looks like.
If your neighbor is sick take them food. We will cook together.
Recycle. Nature is my gift to you.
When you want to take a picture of yourself turn the camera around and take a picture of what’s in front of you. Better yet, put the camera down and just look. I will tell you stories of my youth where no one stopped to capture anything.
No means no. I will teach you to say it firmly.
So much can be fixed with a hot bath and warm tea. That’s why you see me making them so often.
If someone hurts you think about how wonderful it was that someone meant that much to you. Each time we are hurt and it leaves a mark it means we have been touched by love. Keep going. A marked heart is full heart. I know that well.
It’s important to join large causes and scream for justice with the masses. It’s equally important to see the homeless you pass by, or the overworked mother of 3 down the road. Give them your time, even if it’s to say hi, I see you. We’ll make a card together for the child who sits alone at lunch.
You can always go in a different direction. See how many paths I have veered from.
You can always start over. I will teach you how to take one step at a time.
Remember that when the waves come all you have to do is ride them and go with the current until they spit you back out into calm water. You won’t drown. Listen to my stories of tidal waves fought. I will teach you to tread water. I will teach you when to paddle hard.
It takes strength to cry. That is why I celebrate your emotion.
Don’t be afraid of sadness. It is how you will truly know joy.
Make strong boundaries. I have taken your hand and shown you when it was time to walk away.
Sometimes though, forgive. Even I make mistakes.
Don’t look for a happy life. Look for a full life. I am so very full, which is my happiness.