Letters to Little One

Help the Sinking, Stay Afloat

Dear Little One,

In training to be a lifeguard, you learn how to control a chaotic, often life-threatening situation. When people are drowning or in fear of drowning, they are desperate for help, and it is your job to get to them, relax them and bring them to safety.

In learning to be a good friend, we are often faced with many of the same situations as a lifeguard, though they often exist on much more figurative planes. Life consistently throws the unexpected at us, knocking us down, pushing us under the water, and while we often try to teach ourselves to swim the best we can, we often rely on our friends to save us when things get too hard.

As a friend, we learn to hold our breath, we learn to paddle and to kick. We learn to stay calm when the person we are trying to save is too panicked to realize they may be drowning us too. Yes, as a friend we do all of these things, because oftentimes we are the only ones who will. However, we must always connect to the fact that we are not just a friend. We are not solely a lifeguard on duty during someone else’s swim. We too are swimming and we too are trying our best to stay afloat. So while we must always keep ourselves open and available to lend a hand when we are needed, we must also take note of where we are in the water.

So, Little One, I ask you to remember this: Love hard enough to want to save the ones around you from sinking, but make sure they put in as much time to help you float.

 

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

The Working Years

Dear Little One,

It’s the Christmas season, which always brings about a lot of anxieties for me. Not really from the season itself, but from what it entails. For example, in the weeks leading up to Christmas I’m often invited to a number of parties, be it with family or friends or both, and I’m always asked the same question: What have you been up to?

I don’t know why, but immediately after I hear these words, my mind always goes blank. Suddenly nothing I’ve done throughout the year seems of any worth and I’m left standing there, thinking I’ve more or less wasted a year. Today however, as I made a list of things I want to get done by the end of this year, I was reminded how important working years are.

You see, for the past few years, I’ve been making a lot of moves, and while they may seem small to the outsider’s eye, they are big and important for me. It is years like these that build up to the big, obvious, accomplishment ridden ones. And so this year, even though I know I’ll get asked that same question over and over and it will still be hard to answer, I’m not going to flee. I’m going to stand my ground. I’m not going to change the subject or avoid it by talking about the accomplishments of others. I’m going to tell the truth: I’ve been working hard.

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

Generous With What We Cannot See

Dear Little One,

Ever since I was little I was encouraged to be generous, to share, to give. And as I’ve grown up, I’ve noticed how often I associate those words with tangible things. I’ve shared toys. I’ve given presents. I’ve been generous with my money. But now, perhaps more than ever, I’m starting to believe that what the world needs more than anything is our generosity with the things we cannot see.

We need to be generous with our hearts, both in loving those who love us and those who don’t.

We need to be generous with our voices, using them to identify what needs to be changed and giving them to those who have had theirs taken away.

We need to be generous with our time, giving it to people not things.

We need to be generous with our hope, passing it along to those who have been given no reason to hold onto their own.

The world needs so much more than money and things, and you are worth so much more than your supply of either. So when you’re looking for ways to be generous, you need look no further than inside of yourself. Chances are if you look there first, the gift will be far greater than anything you could have given blindly out of your pocket.

 

See you soon.

 

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Letters to Bear

The Silence of Time

Dear Bear,

Sometimes it’s weird thinking that the only thing keeping us apart is the silence of time. That which forces us to be patient and shapes us into who we’ll need to be when life weaves us together. That which teaches us and tortures us and turns us upside down. Until one day it calls out and without thinking, we answer.

 

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

On that Day

Dear Little One,

I can’t wait for the day when I tell about this time in my life. About how I constantly wondered whether any of my biggest dreams would come true.

For on that day, as you’re looking up at me with that little twinkle in your eye, I’ll have already discovered one of them did.

See you soon.

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Trying.

Dear Little One,

More than anything in this world I want to write a book; to be successful in a field that I love. And while I continue to hold out hope, it’s hard to imagine everything I dream of really coming true. But I suppose that’s the point, isn’t it? To notice the doubt but allow hope to prevail.

I’m starting a story today, and it might be nothing, but then again it might be everything. Do you ever get that feeling in your gut? The one that whispers, “Maybe this is the start of something really big.” The one that wonders, “Is this the moment when everything changes?”

I don’t know.

But I’m at that starting line, a place I never would have put myself before, and I will focus on that small step, even if I can’t move a single inch further in this race. Today I am trying, and what success story has started with anything more?

 

See you soon.

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Letters to Little One

Windows Down

Dear Little One,

The thermometer reached 89 degrees today, which is unheard of for February. There are people all over the world complaining about snow pack and frozen pipes and icy roads, and then there’s us, sweating in shorts and eating ice cream cones. I’m still holding out hope that we get a little more rain before summer, but I suppose we’ll see what the weather has in store for us.

Over the last few weeks, the heat has been pretty consistent, making it impossible for me not to fall into summer patterns. I’ve pulled out my flip flops, craved frozen yogurt, and opened all the windows in my house. I’ve also started to drive with the music up and the windows down. And while I’m not really someone who likes to draw attention to myself, there is a special kind of freedom that comes with singing your heart out into the open air. I downloaded a bunch of new country songs and have been letting the breeze sweep through my car, blowing my hair around as I hum along.

So even though I know the air conditioning is tempting, and on some summer days it’s almost imperative, roll your windows down and let the fresh air cool you off as often as you can. There’s just something about it that forces you to breathe.

 

See you soon.

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