By cultivating a grateful heart, our children will grow to live happy and fulfilling lives.
There will be many moments in your life for lessons. Teachable moments will be everywhere, waiting to be revealed to you. You are so small right now, but as you grow bigger and start to understand people and relationships, there is one lesson that I think is more important than almost any other you may learn: When people show up for you, tell them you appreciate them.
Son, as you grow, you will see that your plate will quickly be filled with activities. School, Little League, swim practice, band, homework — whichever constructive activities your little heart desires will be available to you. The older you get, you’ll find yourself busier and busier. So please understand that when people show up for you — to cheer you on, to offer you congratulations, to teach you or even bail you out of a mess you’ve gotten into — they are making you a priority in their own hectic schedule. When they take time out of their own busy lives to support you, thank them. They didn’t have to be there, but they wanted to be there for you. That’s what showing up means.
You are going to need a lot of support as you grow up. We live in a big and beautiful (but often treacherous) world, and you are going to need lots of love and guidance. Here’s the thing, though: Unless it’s from your dad and me, support is not guaranteed.
Your teachers, your extended family and friends will become your tribe, but they have their own lives too. You are not the central star around which they orbit. They are only visitors to your solar system. They didn’t have to be here, but they are. And you need to thank them for that.
Appreciation will help you to live in the moment. It will teach you a spirit of humility and empathy. Most importantly, it will teach you that though you are unbelievably important to your dad and me, you are but a small part of a wide world full of other people’s children. Your life doesn’t exist within the bubble of our home; you live within a complex global society of which you are a citizen. Gratitude for people’s involvement in your life will anchor you within your community. Learning to cultivate a grateful heart will lead you to a joyful, more fulfilled life.
Baby, you are so precious to us. We would do anything for you because you are our child. But never expect more from someone than you are willing to do for them. Appreciate every little thing.