Dear Joseph and Lucia,
I tried writing you yesterday, but had a computer glitch that decided to delete the entire letter just before I posted it. (Grrrr)
I want to let you guys know that you are both beautiful, intelligent, and talented. The world will be a much better place when you fulfill your gifts. However, to reach that you will need to let go of barriers I helped place when you were young.
Beginner bowlers use rails to keep them out of the gutter. After enough time, the rails are lowered. The same goes with the rules your mother and I set in your youth. You are both now reaching the age where those rails can be lowered. Of course it means you will make mistakes, but learn from them.
- Don’t be afraid of the changes happening to you. Your bodies are changing and charged with hormones. It’s scary, but normal and not a bad thing.
- The cuss words that come to mind aren’t sinful. Just choose when to use them so they don’t offend others.
- The church isn’t perfect. Don’t be afraid to question rituals. It’s not a sin to seek a true answer. I think God would prefer we work hard to find answers.
- Music that doesn’t praise God directly isn’t sinful to enjoy. Art of all kind only shows a desire to find beauty. I think God would want us to do that.
- Don’t be afraid of homosexuals. They are people, too. Some of my closest friends are gay. I know what the church teaches and choose not to follow that doctrine. Where there is love, there is God.
- I only put “experimentation of substances” on a list of things you probably shouldn’t try. You guys come from two parents that have substance abuse issues in their families. Me among them. It is likely you have inherited a “special” gene that would make you more prone to addictive behavior. So please be careful with this issue.
- Above all, don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t because it is the “rule”. Push past the fear of non-conformity.
Explore. Seek. Try. Question. Annoy your mother. Reach out to me and annoy me. It is your privilege as a son and daughter. And as always, I love you Joseph. I love you Lucia. I’ll be here waiting.