I think we can't go 'round measuring our goodness by what we don't do, what we deny ourselves,what we resist, and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.
~ Hugh O'Conor (Chocolat)
Nathan turned fifteen yesterday and I continued a tradition that I have done since his very first birthday. I wrote him a letter and stuck it in his birthday card (I do it for each of my children).
I write about things that take place throughout the year- like who he was friends with and what activities he did or special events so that when he gets older he will have them to look back upon and reminisce about.
Writing him the letter this year felt different because not only has he grown and changed so much over the past year but I have too.
In the spirit of O'Conor's words I encouraged him to measure his goodness by what he does and it got me thinking about how I measure my goodness.
For starters, I embrace friends who (want to) listen to what is in my heart. I create good food for my family and friends because I know that it is the most basic form of care and nourishment I can offer them. We had friends over last night for a meal and of course to share a birthday cake with Nathan. And, I include into my life and my heart only those things that support me and cherish me for me-not simply another's idea for or about me but what is true for me.
I want to teach my son to embrace his goodness-I suppose the best way to do that is by my example.
We're heading off Cape today and going into Boston. I bought tickets for a Boston College Basketball game for Nathan's birthday-it's snowing out there now so the day may prove to be quite an adventure.
(I recently read the quote above from an informative weekly newsletter for writers and I liked it-it struck a chord with me).