I'm Kirk Wheeler, it's 2,2,21, 2,2,21 - Somebody's got to make a song out of that.
All right. It's February 2nd, 2021. I'm so glad you're here.
We each come into our parenting story in our own unique way, with our own unique histories. The whole idea of Kind and Curious is to help you stay inspired to raise humans ready for anything, but that does not mean that we can be prepared for everything.
Even some things we believe are far behind us, have a way of returning the day we learn, we're going to be responsible for the life of another human being. Our greatest joys and struggles can be revealed and instant. And many times failure is the seed.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”– Maya Angelou
When I say failure is the seed, your mind may go many places. Mine does. My own failures, the failures of those I've trusted, people who have overcome some of the greatest setbacks in history, only to return better and more sure of themselves.
Some of the failures are of our own making. But sometimes the failures we imagine are far outside of our control. They are chance encounters with biology, nature, maybe some mystery yet to be explained, but they can have very real and personal impacts on our lives. I was born with a club foot. It happens in around 1 in 1000 births and twice as often in boys, a random occurrence of biology.
I don't remember much about the surgery or the casts I had, but I do have a few clear recollections of things that at the time, I thought were just part of everyday life, but would later learn that they were not something everyone dealt with. Maybe you have something similar in your own life. Maybe you're dealing with something like this right now with your own children, like many things in our lives, it's not the events themselves that matter as much, as the stories we tell ourselves about the events.
One of the clear memories I have is my father sitting down every night with me and stretching out my left foot. He wanted to be sure that I would be able to do anything I set my mind to, and that my club foot would not prevent me from doing so. So the story I learned to tell myself was that if I put in the time and worked hard, that I would not be prevented from doing anything. And overall, I haven't been, I played sports growing up. I still go on long backpacking trips. So this failure of genetics, if we can call it a failure, has been the seed of how I view adversity, but I was unprepared for the way it impacted me when we learned we were pregnant with our son Wyatt.
I still remember how worried I was that he would be like me, that he would be impacted in the very same way. Fear got the best of me. And I'm still surprised how deeply I felt that fear. But Wyatt did not have a club foot in my eyes, he's perfect. He's not perfect.
Like all of us he has and will continue to have his own challenges in life, but they won't be mine the same way that the challenges of my generation won't be the challenges of his. This is the way the world works. We share stories with each other. We navigate fear and joy, discovery and loss, failure and success. Together.
And if there's one lesson around failure that I am sure of it's this. Whether of our own doing or that of fate, there are times that it may be necessary to encounter defeat. So we can know who we are and who we can become.
I hope you find this helpful. And remember, there is no perpetual parenting playbook.
We're all learning as we go. And with curiosity is our map and a willingness to rise from our defeats. We can be ready for anything so good luck today. You've got this. See you tomorrow.