A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.14 “You’re a Mystery”

Dear daughter,

You’re a mystery to me.

It’s the summer after your fourth birthday and you’ve cut up two toys with scissors. I find it quite disturbing. It’s not like they were a truck or jump rope; they were an alien and dinosaur. They had eyes.

I personify everything — even as an adult — and could never hurt anything with eyes. 

Maybe it’s good that you are a little less sensitive than I am, but I hope throughout your childhood I can instill a value in empathy.

Maybe toys aren’t a good example here, but it’s important to respect and care for other creatures and property — like our kitties, Jaxie and Belle Belle, and others’ belongings.

We must always be considerate of others’ feelings and needs as well as the world around us. 

It’s possible to have a better understanding of others when you picture their pain as your own. Please keep this in mind.

Maybe they were just toys and you’re just four years old, but for some reason, your actions still bother me. I’m sure it’s mostly my own sensitivity, but hopefully, in time I will understand your behavior. 

I’m still excited to see the person you become.



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