Like you I read stuff on the magical internets and sometimes I get goosebumps and think … holy crap, that person knows exactly what I’m thinking and they summed the whole thing up in two sentences! You know what I’m talking about. Every once in a while you come across some nugget of gold, even in the weirdly wired world we live in that has given everyone a platform and a false sense that they’re super important and talented or really beautiful. Or all three!
The truth of the matter is that everyone is important and special and beautiful, but not in the falsified ways we present ourselves online. People are beautiful when they’re crying, when they wake up in the morning, when they’re confused. People are important when they’re helping a bum get a bowl of soup, when they let the little old lady have their seat on the subway. Those kinds of things rarely get captured for social media.
Try going without all that stuff for one week, maybe even two, and then see who you are in the world, without feedback from strangers or people you barely know. Rediscover your own self and your place in the story of life. I dare you.
I read this thing: “Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become” and it resonated with me and I thought … well, duh.
And then I thought … actually, no, hold on.
Your children are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth. Treat them as such from the moment they arrive here. Because they didn’t come here to be you or to be owned by you. They came to you as a gift and your job is to treasure them, nurture them, look to them with curiosity and give them a wide berth to allow who they are to manifest.
Kids are not clay; your job is not to mold them into all the things you didn’t become or failed at or can be proud to tell your friends à la the morons who bribed their kids’ way into colleges, not so their kid could get an education they otherwise might not have had, but so they didn’t have to suffer the shame of telling their friends on the cocktail party circuit that Johnny is doing great at Fresno City College!
Kids. I always admired my female friends who knew with great certainty that they didn’t want them. I felt no sorrow for them at all. Because raising kids takes a lot … a lot of time, a lot of cash, a lot of humility, a lot of pain. A lot of all the things most people don’t like or aren’t willing to part with. Especially, kids require a lot, and I mean a ton, of letting go. None of us are very good at letting go.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this or not, but the more you hold on with the grip of death to something in this life the slipperier it becomes. Wo. How’s that for a word … slipperier. I’m not even sure if it’s a word, but it sure is fun to say!
If you stand back and watch, your kid will show you exactly who they are and it may or may not (most likely not) have anything to do with who you are. Sure, it’s awesome that you fed and watered them, gave them a bed, some clothes, but the soul has a story of its own and it has nothing to do with you, I’m sorry to say; get out of the way.
Why does Coco love to cook? I have no idea; I’m not into it at all. The good news is that there are a ton of people around her who are and she has learned the graceful and crucial art of the ask. The day after we ate at Gem she wrote to Nora, the host, and asked if she could go back and cook with the chefs. Nora wrote back and said yes. Coco wrote back and suggested a few dates. Nora wrote back and confirmed one of them. Thus Coco, age 14, will be going back to NYC this spring to cook in the kitchen with one of her culinary heroes, Flynn McGarry.
Did it take any prodding from me? Some encouragement, mostly. Obviously I have to escort her to the city. But from there it’s all Coco; I’ll be at MOMA looking at the photography exhibits.
You don’t need to treat your kids as if anything. They are. Be on their side. Amen.