Summer break is in full swing and it should be a time where we are all filled with gratitude and joy. Not just because it is summer and homework is turning into a distant memory but because of how far we have come.
You don’t know all of the details about what has happened the last five years but you know enough to recognize we have been through some challenges but I don’t think you know how much we have overcome.
I don’t expect you to really understand that because I have tried to protect you from most of it. It wasn’t an easy decision to make because part of me thought it might be easier to let you know more but childhood goes far too quickly and I decided I wanted to protect your innocence as best I could.
We sort of stumbled into the end of the school year and beginning of summer. It wasn’t the sort of triumphant entrance I would have wanted but truthfully it wasn’t all that bad either.
Challenges Help You Grow And Learn
I remember being a kid and thinking that grownups knew everything and being frustrated that they couldn’t use their infinite knowledge and wisdom to make life easier.
It never made sense to me how your grandparents could ignore this tremendous resource because it seemed like such an obvious thing to me.
I don’t remember how old I was when I figured out that they didn’t know everything and that they wereÂ winging it. My best guess is somewhere around 15 or 16 it dawned upon me not only did they not know all the answers they didn’t always know what they were doing with my siblings and I.
They just made random decisions and went with it.
We have done it too. Mom and I haven’t always been able to say we were 100 percent certain that each decision we have made is the right one but that is ok because life isn’t mapped out with perfect precision.
You can’t always know what lies on the other side of the door. Doesn’t matter if you open it or have a window to look through you never really know what lies on the other side until you step through and experience it.
One of the advantages about challenges is that they force you to grow. They force you to make decisions and those choices are part of what help you learn about life and that is a good thing.
I want you to grow and learn. I don’t want you to think of your life as being caught between the hammer and the anvil because that suggests you have no control and that is not entirely true.
We may not have control of all that goes on around us but we do have control of how we act and react to that which happens. I want you to learn how to identifyÂ Things That Matter and recognizeÂ The People You Love Most.
The common thread is here is not just that people matter but that you matter. The challenge is figuring out which people matter and which do not.
School and some of your extracurricular activities have already shown you that not everyone is going to be nice and that not everyone will respect you or be respectful to you.
You need to learn how to ignore the people who drip negativity and do nothing but try to tear you down. I can’t tell you how to do it but I can promise you that you will learn.
It won’t always be easy and some of it will hurt. That might be harder for me to accept than you because I hate seeing you get hurt. My natural instinct is to stomp on those who do it but I pull back on that because the best thing I can do for you is support you and help you figure out how to do it yourself.
There is no benefit to letting me fight all your battles. You know I will always step in if you need help but you won’t ever find out how capable you are if I do and you won’t ever figure out how powerful you can be if you never take life on.
About Your Father and 2014
I don’t know when you’ll read this but I don’t expect it to be for many years so that will impact how you understand this next part. I am frustrated now because I feel like I am straddling two lives and two worlds.
I don’t regret being in this position because it had to happen to move from the place we were into where we are now and where I hope us to be.
If things work as I want and expect one day we’ll sit down and smile about this time and remember it as the moment we stepped into a brighter future that took a great life and made it even better.
I love you guys,
P.S. If you want to see prior letters here you go:
Part of me is torn by the nondescript headline because it doesn’t really tell you anything and some of those letters are pretty meaty. It almost makes me want to go back in and rename them but I won’t because it would screw up all sorts of links and that would anger the blogging/social media gods.
Not that I really care about those gods but…