A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.7 “Be Prepared” and “Gratitude”

Dear daughter,

Here are some fun facts about living in Toledo:

We average 180 days of sunshine a year.

We average about three feet of snow each winter.

On average, we have 124 days with precipitation a year. 

As you know, it’s hard to think of averages when you live in a place where the weather changes so frequently and drastically. You — being the smart Toledo girl you are — know to dress in layers and to be prepared for anything. 

You can apply this readiness to any area of your life. 

Who can you lean on when you’re struggling?

Who can you call in an emergency?

You know I’m an anxious person. So always having a plan seems to help me sleep better at night.

Thinking of my car and driving always makes me nervous so I always keep my car in good repair and renew my AAA membership.

That sort of thing, too. Think of what’s important in your daily life and what you would do if it’s gone.

I will help you as much as I can and we will always be here for you. And pack your cardigan.




To my somewhat spoiled daughter,

It’s time to talk about gratitude.

Humans are meant to help each other out. You never have to go it alone so show the people who assist you that you appreciate them.

If someone gives you a gift, it means they were thinking of you and spent their time and money on you — which is more important than the gift itself. Smile and say thank you.

We may not have a lot of money but so far you’ve had a very fortunate life. Life’s situations are fragile and full of surprises, so it may not always be that way. Live in the moment and be grateful for all that you have.



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