OR: A Letter to My Children
I am so proud of you. Each of you has pursued something that you love. Some of you have found a career. Some of you are still searching, but I feel like you are on the right path and that’s the biggest part of the struggle.
Remember when you were growing up and I was doing a pretty crappy job of homeschooling? Sometimes I look back on that and am amazed at how far you’ve gone in spite of me.
Did I check your workbooks? Once in a blue moon.
Did I make sure that you wrote those book reports? Not nearly often enough.
Did I follow through on those papers you were supposed to write? Sometimes. (Epic fail in that department was that time I bet one of you that some contestant would not win on Survivor. “If they win,” I said, “you don’t have to do finish that paper.” What an idiot bet. Of course, they won.)
When you complained that something was too hard or that you couldn’t do it because you thought you weren’t smart enough, did I tell you that it’s not how smart you are, it’s how you’re smart? Yes — often enough that it elicited eye-rolls whenever I said it.
But I truly believe that with all my heart. Each one of you has a unique set of gifts and talents. If you can learn to put those to work, you will feel fulfilled with whatever your career choice is.
The first time I heard the expression “You do you” I didn’t like it. I thought it was said in a condescending way, with a hint of a sneer.
Of course that was years ago and I don’t remember the exact words leading up to that expression, but here’s the gist of what I remember — That thing that you’re talking about doing is the kind of thing I can’t picture any sane or normal person even dreaming about. It’s absolutely nuts. But, you do you.
Yesterday, I sat in the lobby of the gym and was telling someone about you. “I’m so proud of them all,” I told her. You’ve started your own business, pursued higher education, settled in new areas, changed career focus a few times as you hone what you really want to pursue, studied and studied some more, overcome difficult life circumstances, found delight in new areas, and followed your dreams.
I am so very very proud of you. You’ve all done a really good job being you.
We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?
Advent sidenote: The ultimate you-do-you is seen at Christmas and at Easter. Jesus’ life is bookended with chapters that don’t make sense. I know this didn’t actually happen, but can you picture the eye-rolls in heaven when the plan was revealed — a virgin mother, traveling near her due-date, turned away from the inn, and the Son of God bing born in a stable. That thing that You’re talking about doing is the kind of thing I can’t picture any sane Son of God even dreaming about. It’s absolutely nuts. But, You do You. And He did.