What I Hope Baby D3 Never Unlearns

July 3, 2018

With my third grandchild due to arrive in less than a month (insert gasp of joy here), I’ve given some thought to what I’d like to teach him.

But as I started contemplating my words of wisdom, it occurred to me that the most important things I want him to know aren’t things he has to learn. In all his pure, beautiful perfection, he’ll come into the world knowing them. But sadly, most babies outgrow what they intuitively know. So what follows is not a list of what I want Baby D3 to learn; it’s a list of what I want him not to unlearn . . . at least not too early.

Baby D3, please don’t unlearn:

*That people are good. I love that you will come into the world knowing this. Your utter faith in the fact that every smile you share will be returned will manifest your expectations. Your faith will uplift those around you, will remind them of their higher and better selves, will make them want to be worthy of your trust. Yes, you’ll learn too soon that some people, sadly, are not worthy of it. But most are. And assuming the best will bring out the best in others.

*That the world is beautiful. I can’t wait to see your eyes dance with delight when you behold a butterfly or watch a tree sway in a breeze. And whereas older, jaded eyes assign varying degrees of value to individual objects, you will find it all equally glorious and awe-inspiring. You’ll eventually learn what your fellow man considers worthy and valuable, but your first impression will be the truest: that everything, and everyone, around you is beautiful.

*That life isn’t a competition. The people who love you (and oh, Baby D3, you have no idea how many of us there are) will want the best for you and will encourage you to excel in every way. But you will come into the world knowing you are perfect just the way you are and that you have absolutely nothing to prove. No achievement, no medal, no trophy will increase your worthiness, because your soul, your spirit, your very essence is the most sublime contribution you could ever offer the world.

*That you are connected. You will come into the world an old soul. Upon your birth, you will bring remnants of the countless generations that preceded you, then share those characteristics with the people you meet, then bequeath them to future generations. What’s more, you will know that everyone who crosses your path is your brother or sister in humanity, a child of God, and that we are all in this together.

* That, as I once wrote in a poem, “things you cannot touch can still touch you.” You will feel the warmth of the sun, the embrace of a breeze, the might of the sea, and you will know you are surrounded by a wellspring of goodness, strength and love.

* That you are not alone. Loving arms will be waiting for you when you come into this world, and they will envelop and embrace you with every step you take along your path.

But then, you already knew that . . . didn’t you.

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© 2018 Christine Hurley Deriso