Hey sweetie. Hope you’re comfy in there. You’re going to be joining us in a few days, making your mother and I the happiest people out of roughly 6 billion on this super-weird planet. It’s going to be daunting, exciting, overwhelming, unbelievably amazing and unbelievably scary for you. That’s ok – it still scares me sometimes.
But we’re going to do our best to help you feel at home. There’s a lot to learn about the world, how it works and where you fit in. Sometimes it can seem impossibly enormous and other times you’ll be shocked that it feels so small. I can’t wait to watch you explore.
It will help if you know right off the bat that the world usually doesn’t make sense. We don’t use the metric system and there’s an organ in your tiny body that literally does nothing for you. People eat cauliflower for some reason. I can’t explain those things and many others. The world is just a weird place, and some people spend their whole lives searching for ways to explain what it all means. Well, Claire, I don’t know the meaning of life, but I know one fool-proof thing that always gives life meaning:
Trust me when I say that there will always be something beautiful around you. Maybe you’re watching the rolling waves of the ocean or looking down on an untouched valley in the wilderness. Maybe you’re admiring a sculpture or reading a good book. Maybe all you have in the world is your spirit but none of that matters Claire because if you can appreciate what you have, what is right in front of you or deep down inside you, if you can see the value and the meaning in that moment, then you’ll always be on top of the world.
Things don’t make people happy. People aren’t happy or sad because they can or can’t have something; people are happy or sad because they do or don’t appreciate the things they already have. Love. Food. Money. The value is not in these things. The value is in yourself, and things are valuable when they help you recognize your own value and self-worth. This is why it’s wrong for some people to spend so much money on Porsches but Daddy should absolutely have one. You see?
I realize that this is probably not a reasonable concept for you to grasp right now. For the first few months you won’t even be able to physically grasp anything with your hands, let alone this rambling philosophy that it took your dad almost 29 full years to develop.
But I’ll help you. I’ll help you wrap your fingers around a fork and your mind around the world. I’ll help you understand shapes, colors, and why crying won’t get you another popsicle. Me and your mom are going to teach you everything we know, and then we’re going to learn more so we can teach you that, too.
Things won’t always bring you satisfaction, but you will always have the ability to step back and be thankful for what you have. You will always have love and you will always be able to share love with others, you will always have the ability to recognize beauty and appreciate what it brings to your life, and appreciate the beauty that you bring to the world. Most importantly I want you to remember to appreciate yourself – your thoughts and beliefs and hard work, your relationships and experiences, your successes because you’ve accomplished something and your failures because they will teach you something. There are ups and downs, but there is always something to appreciate.