I'm Kirk Wheeler. It's January 25th, 2021. Happy Monday.
I'm so glad you're here.
There are many times in life where we look back and wish we were better prepared for whatever calamity fate had in store for us. And sometimes we take our wishing a step further and dream that if only we had known in advance, we would have made different choices. But that is rarely the case. Sometimes it's a good thing that ignorance is the source.
“How could I have been so ignorant? she thinks. So stupid, so unseeing, so given over to carelessness. But without such ignorance, such carelessness, how could we live? If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next—if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions—you'd be doomed." -Margaret Atwood
The first time my son broke a bone was on New Year's Day. We were at a friend's house and he was going around the block on a Razor scooter. After navigating the bumps and jumps for a few laps, his front tire hit a crack in the sidewalk and he flipped over forward and broke his wrist.
As someone who has broken a wrist myself, I knew the pain he was in very well. And I still remember my first thought being, Why did we let him ride the scooter in the first place? But that was easy, because he had been riding scooters for a long time with no problems. Things just happen.
The dream of knowing what will happen next is the premise of so many movies, because it's exactly the kind of thing we wish could be true.
But there is probably no greater gift from the universe than the fact that time runs in the direction it does. If you are curious why time runs forward for us, I highly recommend The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli. In short, we can think entropy. But as people responsible for other humans, if we were to know any of the things that are coming our way, from broken wrists and ER trips, to heartbreak, and even visits from death itself, we would be paralyzed. The ultimate analysis paralysis.
So now I try to reflect and be thankful for all the things I don't know, that ignorance is the source. There's a lot to be grateful for there. Can we be better prepared for what's coming our way? Absolutely. But can we be prepared for everything that's coming our way? No.
But we can prepare our minds to be ready to accept the things that do with grace.
And we can use kindnesses as our language, and curiosity as our map for what comes next.
I hope you find this helpful. And remember, there is no perpetual parenting playbook. We're all learning as we go. So good luck today. You've got this. See you tomorrow.