Monday, December 19, 2016

To Worry

Three years ago today - already - Anya came into this world. How far we've come since. Her first sibling, William, followed some 15 months later. Her second sibling will be here in less than three months. Today, it seemed fitting to write to all three of them.

My dear children:

Your father worries. I always have! From the moment that I learned that each of you would be coming into this world.

Worry is a funny thing. Sometimes, it can be positive - leading us to a course of action that is safer than another, in the case of circumstances that we can control. But if we're being honest, we must recognize that in life, there isn't all that much under our control. And so, worrying is a (largely) wasteful exercise. Worry can't prevent all scrapes and bruises, and it certainly can't keep the worst parts of life at bay forever.

To have children is to worry. Every day. And the older I get, the more cognizant I become about all that there is to worry about in the world. All that could go wrong. Health goes into it of course- yours and mine - but it goes beyond that. Will you have the opportunities available to make a good life for yourselves? Will you have to grow up in a society that is increasingly fueled by populist hatred and fears?

It would be all too easy for a perfectly rational person to aim to prevent worry by reducing the sources of what they have to worry about in life. Not taking a shot at something wonderful, because of the chance that something bad might happen. It is safe. But it is counter-productive, and that it my long-winded point today: having something and someone to lose (like each of you) is the greatest of privileges. If I let worry dictate my actions, I would not have this privilege.

I try to remind myself of that regularly. There is a very real chance that things will go... perfectly well.  I need to keep worry in check with stronger hope and optimism. My hope today is that a better tomorrow begins with you. All three of you, through the positive things that you will bring to the world (even Anya, through her legacy).  Worry is a small price that I am glad to pay.

I will continue to do my best to keep it in check. Try to remind me of that, when you can. I am lucky to have the opportunity to love you all so deeply.

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't step onto the road.


1 comment:

  1. How lovely! You express yourself so well and show what a wonderful father you are! Thoughts are with you, Kayleigh and William today! xoxo