My beloved son and daughter,
Today is Mothers’ Day, and so I ask you to indulge me for a few moments. You are both grown now, both embarking on your adult lives. There is so much ahead of you, so much to look forward to. I am proud and excited to watch you as you find your passions, as you pursue your dreams, as you take charge of your lives.
I wish I could promise you that it will all be easy. Instead, there will be dead ends and frustration and disappointments.
I wish I could promise you that you will always be happy. Instead, you will feel anger and heartbreak and loss.
I wish I could promise you that there will be complete, unmitigated success. Instead, you will find that every success has a cost, even if that cost is nothing more than a different choice than the one you made.
I can promise you this, because it is promised to all of us: there is good news. Shit may happen. Because it does: shit happens. But no matter how shitty your situation is, there is always redemption. No matter how frustrating or heartbreaking, no matter how high the cost, there will be redemption. It can be hard to find. It is so easy to see the shit all around us and miss the beautiful garden that it feeds.
I urge you to remember that when you run into a dead end, a different path is waiting to be discovered, even if you have to backtrack to find it. When you are nervous about something, you can know that it is important to you, even if it is difficult. I don’t know the answers to all the shit that will happen in your life. Sometimes the redemption only becomes obvious after years. Sometimes the redemption feels really lame, out of proportion to the cost. But it will always be there. Redemption happens. Grace happens. Love happens.
I will not say that you have an important purpose ahead of you, though this may be true. Instead, I promise you a million little purposes. You are here for a million tiny reasons, for so very many words and thoughts and tasks and deeds.
You are both amazing people. You were born bright and privileged, and you have grown to be responsible and stalwart and true. You both have integrity and a deep sense for justice. You both plan to dedicate your lives to educating others; you plan to help children and youth and adults to add tools to their kits, tools that will help them continue to develop and grow. I am so proud of you both.
You deserve better than the mother I have been. But you may be assured of this: I love you. Every day, I think about you and I love you and I pray for you. Every day, I am proud of you. Every day, I know that it has been a great privilege that you were entrusted to me for your childhood. Every day, I know that the world is a better place because you are in it.
It is my deepest prayer that you know these things, too.
With all my heart,