Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What I'd Like To Teach My Children

Notes to my children:

Don’t forget to feel
and then move on
if things don’t go the way
you thought they should go.
Sometimes what you thought you wanted isn’t even what you

really wanted

Open doors for girls.
Or better yet,
open doors for anyone and everyone
coming through.


Your brother will be your best friend,
if you let him.

Don’t pass up chances to go to far-away places
even if it doesn’t seem like the right time.

Marry someone who likes
so many
of the very same things
that you like.


You need to trust your heart-gut,
it speaks to you.
It is a true voice
that can keep you
safe from danger
and lead you to great things.

You were made for those great things,
like laughing or changing your corner of the world.

There are dreams in your heart
and you’ll surely forget them sometimes
so circle back
and uncover them
because they are only yours
and they never totally
leave you.

What is the one thing you can
know for sure?
You will always belong
with me, with us,
we’re a belonging family.

Some feelings
are really hard to feel.
Feel them anyway.

Eat things that don’t come from a box or a plastic bag
most of the time,
eat things that come from say…the earth or a tree.


I want to say
everything in moderation now,
but you come from a long line of people
who don’t do moderation well.
So just be careful.


Gossiping is gross,
you’ll feel that in your heart-gut,
I guarantee it.

And anyway,
you can like just about anyone
as long as you lay your self righteousness aside.

I don’t really care if you’re good at algebra
and that’s not just because
I’m not either,
but because I think your brain’s energy
is better spent elsewhere,
like on words of poems
or other things that have
more potential
to stay in your

But maybe that’s just me.

Lots of things are just me.

I love most the things that are just you.

Forgive me for all the times
I have and will fail you.

The truth is, I’m learning
as I go
but that never changes
how much I wish I could
always do right by you.

Grace is what keeps us all
and it’s free, just like love.
Give it freely and accept it freely
because you are what love is for,
to get it and to give it to others.

Speaking of others,
learn quickly that there are no “other” people.

We really are all the same.
So get to know people for all that they are,
not just in parts.

Not everyone will look like you
or act like you
or think like you
or believe like you
but it just isn’t your job
to judge all of that.
It’s your job to love.

Keep the best of friends
like a chain around your neck,
soft and light and connected.

Choose forgiveness.

Turn a whole lot of things over
with your sense of humor,
and then learn to be serious
when life or someone you love
asks you to be.


Wrap yourself up in the deepest thoughts
and feelings
and fears
and dreams
of someone else.
Listen to them.
Really listen.
You’ll find the best parts of yourself
in what you learn through
the stories of others.

What’s yours is his and his and hers and hers and his.
And anyway,
you can always
have too much stuff.
Give it away,
without much thought.


Be the one that says,
I’ll help!

Should you seek God with an open heart,
you will find rest and freedom
from the parts of yourself
that scare you the most.

Do the next right thing.


Be kind and mean it.

Get your hands dirty.
Work so hard
that you are bone weary,

Protect. Seek justice. Fiercely fight for the underdog.


Think about good things,
the good things about you
and the people you love
and your life.
Think more about these things
than you think of anything else.

The truth is always the best option.

You are like a treasure,
the kind a farmer
might find hidden in a field
after miles and miles of
You are that priceless
and unexpected
hidden among the weeds,
the thistles and the bugs.
A shocking piece of art,
sitting on an easel in the sun
amidst the corn.

Ignore all the rest
if you must,
it’s not everything anyway;there’s just so much to know.

But please know that last part
the very most.
Everything else follows
the knowledge
of your treasured worth
So know it. Please know it.


I love you.

I will always love you, no matter what.

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