To my Adam,
If there’s one phrase you’ll hear over & over during your existence, it’s that life is hard If i must say one thing to you its life is hard! And it’s true, but not because of what you hope to accomplish in it. I want you to have the strength to be happy no matter how your accomplishments line up. Instead, life is hard because dealing with people is hard.
In your lifetime you’re going to me all sorts of people from all walks of life. You’ll meet intelligent people who challenge you mentally, good hearted people who challenge you spiritually, devious people who test your patience & cunning. But it’s the finesse you must have in dealing with those many faces and personalities that will define your strength. Who you give your trust to is where your strength lies. Keep your circle tight, but keep yourself tolerant.
Your mom and I will raise you to be kind to those who need it. Which, coincidentally, is everyone. Everyone deserves your kindness, but be strong enough to make sure your kindness isn’t taken advantage of. I have learned that in my years of life that as good as people can be, not everyone thinks about kindness the same way. But your strength is that you will think of it as of the utmost importance.
I was absolutely ecstatic to learn that I was chosen to be one of Sakura Blooms sling diarists! For the next 6 months, I’ll be writing diary style letters to my son with a different theme each time. I hope you enjoy reading & viewing them as much as I enjoy writing and taking photographs for them!
Little boys have it hard. You’ll hear a lot about people’s hopes for you to “grow up big and strong,” and that seems like a great deal of pressure to put on someone so impressionable. But I, too, hope you grow up to be strong. Not in the typical sense. I find no need for you to become a man that barrels around bristling and tough because that’s your expected gender role. Instead, I hope you grow up to be strong enough to be your own man. Whatever that may be…
Strength, or at least how I will raise you to understand it, is not found in muscle but in perseverance in your belief.
Strength, or at least how I will implore you to accept it, does not mean you cannot cry. A fact that, as an Arab man, is sometimes going to be a difficult concept to grasp.
Strength, or at least how many Arab women wished men understood it, is not about the power you have over another gender. It’s about the respect you have for them. It takes a strong man to be respectful and kind…,and a very weak one to be petty and cruel.
My hope for you, my son, is to become the gentle, kind, strong man I know you can be in the face of a society that sometimes does not nurture strength properly.
And my hope is that I have the strength to raise you that way.