Be Passionate About Living Life, but Be Smart

Dear Avery and Carter,

Hey Girls. We love you. This is a quick little note. We never want you to be afraid to be passionate about living life. There’s a lot of people who are playing it safe which has them also playing life very short. They most times end up unfulfilled, missing out on so many things and we do not want that to be your story. We want you to be ok with being passionate about living your life and live it full and out loud.

Here’s the thing though…

That’s going to actually put you at odds with us sometimes. You see, living your life full and being passionate about living life is going to have you wanting to do things that we just may not agree with. It’s not because we don’t want you to have that experience. It’s mainly because as your parents it’s our job to make sure you two are safe and can live a long life. If it’s dangerous in our minds, we are most likely going to default to falling back and saying no. This is where those small quick conversations we have about making judgments come into play. It’s been an indirect process of teaching you how to have common sense. The saying says, “sometimes, common sense ain’t common.” We just believe that they didn’t have people around them to help them develop theirs. So at the end of the day, we gotta learn to believe that you know better. The best way for us to believe that is for you to continuously show us with your actions.

So, help us help you. We want you to be passionate about living life. We want you to have peak life experiences. But you gotta use your common sense because sometimes that’s what keeps you alive, safe and in the right places at the right time when you are out there venturing through life on your own, without us. When we were growing up, in the neighborhoods we grew up in on the Northside of Pittsburgh and in East Baltimore, the stats said we were supposed to make it past 17, especially your dad. One in three young black men did not make it. The odds are a little better these days with you being young black women. Common sense was foundational in us navigate the world to make it where we are today. You’ll know. You’ll be in those moments when your friends are trying to go one way and you just feel like, “naw, that doesn’t make sense.” It may be a peak life experience but it might be better to get that peak life experience at another time. Trust that gut feeling. Your dad like to call it a “God feeling,” because to him, it’s God getting his attention.

So yes, be passionate about life and know that we are going to love you regardless and always have your back. But please, be smart! We love you.

In family, health and wealth,

Mom & Dad