Thursday, 6 June 2013

I Hope My Kids Know...

Last Christmas my daughter Kate gave me 52 cards with prompts for blog entries. Each Wednesday I open a card, think about it and write something. Yesterday's card said "I hope my kids know...".

I hope my daughter Kate knows how much each and every one of these cards means to me. Each of them is hand-written on a card that she has created using different card blanks, embellished with stickers and put in an individual envelope. It is an act of love, and I love it.

I hope my kids know how much I love them. Even as I write this I am on the edge of tears; my children mean that much to me. If you were to ask me at anytime over the last 30 years who I was, "a Dad" was always at the top of my list. My children have always been foremost on my mind. Whatever they have needed, I have been willing to give. Whenever they were in trouble, I was there. Whether joy or pain entered their life, I wanted to be part of it. I would give, and have given, my life for them. My children are the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

I hope my kids know the importance of forgiveness, to their family and to all those around them. We live in a complex world and things don't always go according to plan. We stumble, trip and fall. Those around us, those we trust, those we care about, they let us down. Anger comes between us and separates us. Forgiveness, both of self and of others, is the only way to get through the quicksand of emotions and back onto the solid ground of love.

I hope my kids know that all of life is built on love. Love is the only true emotion. Love, most powerfully expressed in the willingness to give, is the only way to build truly long lasting relationships. Love, the desire and need to care and cherish those about you beyond reason, without requirement or request, without regard to outcome or possessions or consequence, this is what makes life worth living.

I hope my kids know to be true to themselves first, to love themselves as the first step to loving others. It is a lesson I learned late in life, perhaps too late. To love yourself and to be true to yourself is to recognize your worth, your value, and to act in alignment with the things you believe. What you think is important; you matter; you count. To be true to yourself is to be who you are, not artificially bending to meet someones else's agenda or need, not adjusting views based on what others think or want, not suppressing what you believe or feel to "smooth things over". Love yourself; be true to who you are and bear the outcome, whatever it may be. Therein lies integrity.

I hope my kids know how much I need them, not just physically as I come to the end of my life, but emotionally and spiritually. I want them to know that every moment with them, from something as simple as tidying the house and shopping for groceries to those deeply connected emotional moments of tears and laughter, I need them in my life. I think about them every day.

I hope they know all this and more. Mostly I hope they know that I want them to be happy.


  1. I also hope they know I want them to read this blog, while I am alive and after I am dead.

  2. Aw Dad- this is really touching. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am glad we will have this to keep.