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I always feel unprepared. This might be due to the fact that I don't really study things until they pertain to me, either directly or interpersonally. This is selfish, I know, but much like a snail on the rocks at Yokohama it's allowed me to explore without being preyed on, without hurting too much. And much like a snail, I thought I've been hardened, that I've felt pain and knew how to avoid it by going back to what's safe and familiar. But this is not so.  The further I go and the longer I live I've come to find that the world is so much bigger than the rock I grew up on and there is no amount of parenting which can prepare you for what's to come. This should not come as news, it's simply an observation which has only grown stronger with time.

You are unique. You are learning. Your experiences will not be the same as mine. So I find myself at a crossroad. How much of my own experience should I project onto you? Genetics tells us that you are your predecessors experiences. I wonder "isn't that enough?" I don't know how much to tell you. I don't know how much to hold back. I can't predict your dramas and how your life will unfold. I know that there will be moments where there will be information overload. I know that there will be moments where you feel I have left you in the dark. What I want you to know is that I'm trying my best. I didn't grow up knowing how to be a parent, I'm learning now. Through you.

Mostly I want you to know that I love you. That there are moments where I think of you and cry. And those tears are a mix of joy and sorrow. Joy because you are here and you are beautiful. Not just on the surface but in your actions. That with every breath and every word you grow more complex like a gem being buffed and faceted. Sorrow because that with life comes pain. Pains that I cannot protect you from no matter how much I may try. You may experience things that I never have. And what good are all my years ahead of you then?

Don't be a snail. Don't avoid experiences because you can't predict them. My hope for you is that I will be able to give you enough common sense and information that you will not be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone. That no matter what pain you go through you will take it in stride and use it as a learning experience instead of as a crutch, a shell, that you carry with you, slowing you down and obstructing your view of the horizon. The rock beneath your feet will never change but the view from where you're standing always does.

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