Dear Kiddo,

Lately when something goes wrong you respond with, “Oh great,” and then proceed to list every bad thing that’s happened over the last 24 hours.

I’m sorry to say you come by it honestly. Both your dad and I are good at making lists of the all the bad and ignoring all the good.

Whether by nature or nurture, you’ve got the pessimism gene all wrapped up in that little brain of yours.

And when I hear you rattle off your list, I groan for the pain counting your curses will cause you. I ache for the temptation to despair that will likely plague you for all your days.

But I promise you this.

I will try my hardest not to freak out when I hear the negative. Because freaking out won’t erase the responsibility I feel every time I witness a propensity passed on.

I will do my best not to dismiss your negative thoughts and tell you to push them down and make them go away so they can fester inside.

Instead, I will share my own tendencies with you. We will bear this burden together. I will encourage you to speak your thoughts into the light of day where they can be tenderly examined for accuracy.

We will practice gratitude because for some of us, it’s a learned skill. We will focus on what’s true and lovely and noble and pure.

And I will remind you this isn’t something we do in our own strength. It might be a skill to learn, but it’s first a grace received. It’s not about trying harder, but accepting that the God who designed life knows how it works best.

It’s leaning into his ways and letting him direct our paths.

So we’ll talk about the beautiful sunrise. We’ll list everything that’s gone right. We’ll surround ourselves with reminders of the good. We’ll pray for the grace to hope. And we’ll do it together.

Love you kiddo,