I just found this in my email drafts…something I wrote the night before I went into labor with my little Nugget.My due date is fast approaching and I promised myself I would write this down before our little man popped into our lives and changed everything. I’ll do my best to try and instill as much of the following as possible. How? Who knows? Parenting must be just as instinct and gut based as pregnancy. As I was writing it I realized that the flip side to every one of these points is that I’ll be learning so much from him as he is from me. Every. Single. Day.
Letter to Jack,
I am writing this a few days before you are born. Before you come crashing into our lives and change us forever. You’ll change us in ways we are completely oblivious too right now, all we know is that we love you already. we love you more than we will be able to express to you, in a way that will make you pull faces and get embarrassed when you’re a teenager.
I thought I’d write down a few things that I hope we can pass on to you as you grow up. No one is a perfect parent and your Dad and I will grow and learn just as much as you do from our relationship.
All I can hope is that it is a relationship that is open and honest and accepting. I’m here to guide you with what I’ve learned so far and while I can’t promise I will always do the right thing, I promise I will always do my best. I also promise to remember that you are your own person, with your own karma and destiny that has already begun inside my tummy.
I’m probably a third into my journey here on the planet and I can honestly say I feel blessed to be alive, most days, most of the time. The fact that you are almost here makes me feel even more blessed. The fact that I met your Dad and we created you has been the most incredible experience of my life. You’re about to blast out into the world and begin to have your very own experience here on this wonderful planet.
The things I would like you to know:
1. You are your own best friend.
Jack, life is all about relationships, none of which is more important than your relationship with yourself. The world around us is in a constant state of flux, especially if you’re challenging yourself and living a full and satisfying existence. I want you to learn to trust yourself and be content in your own company. People, pets, friends and family come and go, sometimes they disappoint us or let us down, sometimes we disappoint people around us. The only constant is that we always have ourselves. Listen to your heart and come to know yourself. You’ll never be lonely if you love the person inside.
2. That women are awesome.
I want to instill in you a profound respect for women. It pains me that this should even be something that I have to reinforce/teach/show in this day and age, but lets face it, there are still a lot of sexist, misogynistic idiots out there, a large proportion of those are other men. Those men are insecure and/or ignorant/and or dealing with their own programming. I hope I lead by example and show you that women can do absolutely anything they set their minds too, that we are strong and courageous, adventurous and hilarious. You’ll have all my amazing friends around you as role models too. In fact, you’ll probably come to realize that women are far more awesome than men in many, many ways…but I’m biased of course…
3. Cooking, cleaning and laundry skills are indispensable in this world.
I will teach you to cook, bake, clean the toilet and do a perfect load of laundry without shrinking a thing and do the ironing. In fact, you’ll be quite a catch for someone one day but that’s not the fundamental reason I’ll teach you these things. I want you to be a capable, independent man who sees that these tasks are an integral part of life.
4.Your emotions are normal and they’re ok.
Sometimes you’ll get angry, sometimes you’ll be sad. Sometimes there’s an obvious reason, sometimes we have to look a bit deeper inside to find out what’s going on. I hope you feel that you never have to hide these emotions from me or that whatever you feel is ‘wrong’ because it won’t be. We all have shitty days and it’s how we deal with these shitty days that’s important. I never want you to squash or hide these feelings because quite often feeling them is how we figure it out.
5. Respect money but don’t let it rule your life.
I hope we show you the value of hard work but I also hope we show you that there is more to life than earning a tonne of money. I hope you find something that you are passionate about that drives your ambition. Human-beings need a purpose greater than ourselves, we are here on earth to learn, grow, be happy and help each other.
6. The world is there to be explored.
Traveling is the best education I ever had. Living in foreign countries taught me independence, acceptance and that it’s a big old beautiful place out there. It opened my heart and my mind and most of all I’ve met people and made friends from all over the globe who have all added depth and character to my life.
7. I have made mistakes and done stupid things.
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes and doing stupid things. I will be happy to talk to you and open about all of them. In fact, my mistakes have been the best teachers I have ever had. Problems have only arisen when I’ve made the same mistake again…but even then, some things we just need to be taught a couple extra times than others.
8. Integrity, openness and honesty.
If your outside matches your inside life is a lot calmer, less exhausting and relaxed. be true to your word and try avoid even little fibs – except when I ask you if I look my age. Then fibbing is definitely ok.
9. Procrastination is a pain in the butt.
I’m a very accomplished procrastinator and while I hope I can teach you the value of getting stuff done in a timely manner you Dad will be far better at this. He’s a flipping task master.
9. Dreams are one of the most important things you will ever own.
You dreams are yours alone, embrace them and then work your butt off to make them a reality. The key is trying to figure out the steps that need to be taken to fulfill these dreams. Your Dad and I will help you as best we can, even when we can’t quite understand your dream ourselves, we’ll do our best to understand and help guide you towards accomplishing them.
10. Everything will always be ok. Even when it’s not.
Life is unpredictable, full of challenge and change but learning to trust ourselves and trust that whatever happens is the exact thing that was meant to happen. Even the bits that seem the worst, almost always turn out to be the best bits. Trust the process of life just as much as you trust yourself and I promise everything will always be ok.
11. We (your parents) aren’t always right.
In fact, if we can be proven incorrect we are more than happy to say sorry and acknowledge this. Communicate with me, talk to me. I may not always agree but that never means I don’t love you. At some point we will both be adults at the same time, I hope that I have helped create a man with his own convictions and ideas. I don’t always need to be right, as a parent I’ll be doing my best but I know there will be times that I’m wrong. If my son can discuss things with me with openness, integrity and honesty.
12. Love is everything.
Let love guide your decisions. Love for yourself, those around you and everyone you meet. Every single human being you meet is made of the same stuff as you. We are all amazing beings, holy, Godlike and divine, made completely of love. For some people it’s buried under layers of fear, those people may seem angry or sad or mean at times. They need more love than most.
12. When I’m gone I will still be with you.
I carried you in my tummy, I pushed you out into the world. You are my little boy and you always will be. I hope you grow up knowing how much of a blessing you are to me. You have already taught me so much and made me understand what true love is. That is why I’ll always be with you, beacause I will always carry you with me.