I'm Kirk Wheeler. It's January 8th, 2021. I'm so glad you're here.

I've been thinking a lot about puzzles lately. Not just the ones made out of cardboard, but the ones that perplex us the most. How do we get from where we are now? Where we'd like to be. What do we do about the puzzle that was missing the last piece? And what about the puzzles we never begin. All of these have one thing in common.

Ignorance is the source.

"Our whole life. Is solving puzzles." -Erno Rubik

At the beginning of the pandemic last year, my family, like many families started doing puzzles. By the middle of the summer, we were pretty puzzled out. But it was a great reminder of what it was like to take something chaotic and bring it to some assemblance of order. Whether there was a missing piece at the end or not.

And as parents we spend most of our time in this mode. From the first moment we find out we're going to have the responsibility of caring for another human being, we start learning. And people start telling us what to do.

So we end up with all of these pieces, and we start building them into something beautiful. Sure, there are challenges, there are days when you may not even want to look at the puzzle, there are days when you just can't stop working on it, out of pure joy. But it's always there and we're always working out what the next right step is.

Even though we tend to imagine a puzzle coming to a place of completion, the puzzles of our lives never really do it's one ongoing process. Whether we're trying to navigate school for the first time for our first born, whether we're trying to navigate a hospital visit - or a sports team. Or any of the other 10,000 moments that we never anticipated would be part of our journey.

I spoke about loss yesterday on the podcast. I didn't see that coming. I drove a minivan for almost a decade. I didn't see that coming. But all of these pieces make up who we are.  Even just starting this podcast was a giant puzzle to put together. And I'm still learning.

And I'm still trying to take all of the pieces that are available, the ones I saw crystal clear in my mind and the ones I never imagined and build a life worth living.

It's not perfect.  The number of mistakes I've made along the way would fill a book. But the moments of joy I could never have anticipated would fill me with such hope and meaning, well, they could fill the ocean.

I won't remember all of the moments, but the ones I do have made the journey worth every step. And when the puzzle is complete, it will be the puzzle it was always meant to be, missing pieces and all.

And the ones I never started, those were not the puzzles I was meant to solve in the first place.

I hope you find this helpful and remember there is no forever guide book to parenting. We're finding the puzzle pieces as we go.

And with curiosity as the map we're going to build a beautiful picture.

So good luck today. You've got this. See you tomorrow.