An open letter to my children

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Hello, my sweets.  Recent events have made it necessary to say a few things to you, just so you understand.

I haven’t, and I won’t, always do things that make sense to you. Sometimes, you are going to ask for something and I’m going to say “no” and not be able to give you a very good reason. Sometimes, I won’t have a very good reason. Sometimes, I act on instinct — or rather, I act on your mother’s instincts, which are much better than mine.

That’s because the world is a very weird place these days. And I know you want me to trust you, and believe me when I tell you that I do. But, there are a lot — a LOT — of other people out there in the world who I don’t trust.

We’ve seen this lately. It is possible to do everything the way you’re supposed to, and still have bad things happen to you. Your mother and I were crossing the street in the crosswalk, like we were supposed to; we were trying to hustle across to get out of the street, and had the dog on a leash, just like we were supposed to. But we can’t always account for the other people out there, and that old guy in the truck just didn’t see us. We did our best to get out of the way, but Addy (the dog) just didn’t quite make it.

We’re lucky it wasn’t worse than it was. We’re lucky Addy is young and strong, we’re hopeful that she’ll be coming home again to us soon.

But we can’t always count on luck.

I’ve been around longer than you have, and I’ve survived a few other brushes with stupidity (mostly my own), and so I feel pretty comfortable when I tell you that there are a lot more things that can go wrong in the world than just the consequences of your own choices.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that we try to hide you away in a tower to protect you from all of that. You have to go out there and live life and learn on your own. But there’s a reason I taught you how to throw a decent roundhouse kick from an early age. Please understand that it’s not a form of torture when I try to show you self-defense — it’s a form of preparation. I pray to God above that you will never need to use anything I show you, but I’d rather “waste” the time showing you something unnecessary than waste time regretting not having shown you.

The same goes for trying to teach you about money, and all those glorious hours teaching you to drive, and the times I make you look around at what seems like nothing, trying to imagine where bad things might come from. I will always try to be there to protect you, but I won’t always be there, and, it’s possible that even if I am there I won’t be able to do anything. So I want you to be ready.

But, for now, please accept that sometimes I’m going to try to keep you out of certain situations, just so none of that is necessary. It won’t make sense to you, and I apologize for that, but that’s part of my job as your parent. And I won’t apologize for that.

And always remember — Daddy loves.

 

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