I’ve read in so many different new parent books, blog posts, pamphlets, etc., that one thing you should definitely do before you have a child is to write something about your hopes and dreams for your child. So when our son is born, whether it is later today or a week from now (and for the record, he is due tomorrow, September 13), I should be ready to impart a whole lotta wisdom on the newest member of Planet Earth.
So, Beamer, whose real name shall be revealed at some point soon (hopefully, for his mother’s sake, very soon), here are my Hopes and Dreams for You, baby Mussack Waller. (And since this is a running blog, they are healthy living-related Hopes and Dreams.)
1) Learn to love the gift of your body. Sorry that sounds so kinda schmaltzy on paper, but it’s incredibly true. Rediscovering running in 2010 was one of the best things I could ever do, because it retaught me the value of experiencing life through the one thing you can actually experience life through–your body. Last night when Brigitte woke up from a couple scary dreams about you being born (one where you came out looking like a weird teardrop and the other looking like a baby version of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), you pushed back at her and at us harder than you ever have. Maybe to reassure us that Everything Is Going To Be Okay, and maybe just because you felt like dancing. Whatever it was, you used that body of yours that you will soon find is even better outside the womb than it is inside. Dude, you get to eat ice cream out here. It’s way better than eating ice cream in there. Trust me.
2) Learn to quiet your mind when you need to quiet your mind. If you’re like me (and you probably will be, with all that shared DNA and what not), you’re probably gonna have a brain that will want to race from one thing to another to another. (Kind of like me writing this blog post with tons of parentheticals.) So, what I hope to teach you are some tools to quiet what yogis and Buddhists call your Monkey Mind. The last few weeks, I’ve been increasing my dosage of yoga, which has been eye-opening (or…wait for it… third eye opening!) in many ways, most of all that actually, quieting your mind is a skill that you need to practice the same as any other thing. It’s not inherent to all people who practice yoga or some other form of similar meditation to just be able to do it on a whim. The Dalai Lama said that if everyone learned to meditate by age eight, we could eliminate war, and while that’s probably not completely true, it will definitely make you a happier person.
3) Be nice to people. And not just in a platitude kind of way. Learn from your amazing mother (slash my amazing wife) about what feminism means, because she is smart and wants the best for all people. Do stuff with your life that indicates that you care about humanity as a whole. Don’t contribute to the patriarchy. (But if you want to like Minnesota sports teams with your papa, that would be welcomed.)
4) Be proactive. That’s also Stephen Covey’s #1 habit in the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. I learned that one way too late in my life. Brigitte didn’t, though. (Maybe you should learn most of your stuff from your mom, is what I’m thinking right now.)
5) Have fun. You are being born into a family that already is sorta obsessed with you, and you have like 17 gajillion other baby and toddler friends ready to play with you. I’m excited to share you with everyone else.
I’m sure I’ll think of more things as they happen. So, Beamer, please come out some time soon so we can stop calling you Beamer.