To My Child
I hope you learn that life isn’t fair. But that that doesn’t mean it is all bad.
I hope you smile at people, even strangers, and look people in the eye.
I hope you chew with your mouth closed.
I hope you learn how to listen – really listen – to others when they need to be heard, and to the quiet beat of your own heart.
I hope you learn to win and lose with grace.
I hope you love and appreciate the beautiful, intricate, amazing body you’re in.
I hope you can be silly for the joy of it, and can laugh at yourself and with others kindly.
I hope you have good manners and know when to use them (almost always) and when to relax them.
I hope you trust. In others, and in yourself.
I hope you know how to make something with your own brain and hands – a song, food, a painting, a stone wall.
I hope you learn, without too many tough consequences, that attempts to escape problems, hurt, and heartbreak never really work for long.
I hope you pick up after yourself.
I hope you decide that it is wise and healthy to get enough sleep.
I hope you learn how to advocate for yourself without demanding, complaining or whining.
I hope you understand that stuff is just stuff.
I hope you learn you can expect goodness, but not perfection, from other people. Or from yourself.
I hope you learn how to own up to your own misdeeds, mistakes and slights without excuses, blame or deflection.
I hope you keep learning, about the world, about other people, and about yourself.
I hope you work in any small or large way to make your community, corner, city, world, a tiny bit more just and beautiful.
And I hope you know that when in doubt, you should just put stuff in the trash, and not the garbage disposal.