To my sweet children,
I brought you into this world with love and courage. The truth is, the world is such a terrible place, full of violence and disaster. The truth also is, the world is such a beautiful place, full of heroes and miracles.
There is a Jewish teaching that conception happens in the union of three beings: mother, father, and God. You were created in love and you were brought to the world in love. And you walk in this world enveloped in love. We are all three of us with you always, coursing through your veins.
I have three wishes for you in your life. Well, really I have maybe one million wishes for you. But I have so little control over your lives and what will come. So, I narrowed it to just three.
Wish One. Become Independent.
You will need to care for yourselves one day. You will have to find your own income, your own places to live, your own lives to lead. While I often joke that one of you needs to become a doctor or lawyer – as I like to say, “Well someone in this family needs to make some money!” – in truth, I just want you to be able to take care of yourselves, just enough to live life with a small amount of security.
This desire for your independence means that I won’t always be able to help you. I won’t always be able to hold your hand, to reach the higher shelf, or buy the groceries. We’ll start small. You can get your own pickles from the fridge for now. But one day, there will be so much more. It won’t always be fun. Not for me either really. But you will learn to take care of yourselves. You’ll learn the incredible joy and security that comes when you can say with complete confidence, “I can do this.” I want to do it all for you, but I know I can’t, and therefore I really shouldn’t. I want to reach up high for you, but I know that you know how to pull out the step stool and climb up there yourself.
Don’t forget that doing it yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone. There are billions of other humans in this world. You’ll bump into hundreds of them on a daily basis. They are broken, just like me and just like you. We’re all very broken. It’s part of the reality of being alive. So that brings me to wish number two.
Wish Two. Be Kind.
Please be kind to others, sweet children. Be kind to those who clearly deserve it and to those you’re not sure about and also those who don’t seem to deserve it at all. They are all broken. No matter how whole or perfect they appear to be, don’t trust your eyes. They are broken. We are all broken and in desperate need of kindness. The more kindness you give, the more whole you will feel.
I hope as you walk through this world of brokenness, you will keep the story of your great-grandmother in your hearts. I have met few people who have experienced as much brokenness as her. Despite all that, she was the kindest, most loving person I have ever known. She was kind to everyone and loved others with the deepest and truest kind of love.
Keep her story in your hearts, little ones. Grandma’s blood flows in yours, too. Take that love and share it with the world. Be kind. No matter how broken you are, no matter how hard it is to see the brokenness in others, be kind. Treat others with gentle care.
How do you keep from becoming broken like others? You don’t. We are all broken. We don’t always share the details with one another, but they are there. Living a life means opening yourself up to injuries of all kinds and I can promise you that they will happen. You will be broken too, like the rest of us. So, you’ll have to find a way to push through.
Wish Three. Build Resilience.
The world will throw terrible troubles your way. Some are troubles that we will all face. We will all face the frightening violence and political unrest and natural disasters of the world. But the vast majority of troubles you will face in your life will seem to be designed especially for you. These troubles will be things that others may not see as troubling at all, but they will be for you. They will be painful and difficult. They will leave deep scars. I wish I could stand in front of you and simply swat these troubles from your sight. But that would mean locking you in a room and hiding you from all the goodness in the world too. It would mean not much of a life at all, I’m afraid. So, we’ll work on something else instead: resilience.
What is this thing, resilience? It is something deep in your soul that tells you, “No matter how broken you become, you will never break apart.” It is a kernel of light inside of you that will fight the troubles. Troubles will come and go. It cannot be helped. But you can find the strength within to fight through them. It’s sort of like a muscle. You must work at it to keep it healthy and strong. You have to put it through practice rounds so that it’s ready for the marathon when the time comes. Together we will find ways for you to work on your resilience muscle.
Independent, Resilient, and Kind
Remember my loves,
Become independent – take care of yourselves.
Be kind – take care of others.
Build resilience – fight through the troubles, so that you can take care of yourselves, so that you can take care of others.
Ordinary Days, Meaningful Life is a labor of love geared toward working moms ready to embrace the chaos and find meaning in it. If you found this post meaningful, please share it with someone you think would enjoy it too! I’d love to stay in touch with you! Leave a comment below, contact me, or sign up for the mailing list. I can’t wait to hear from you!