Noah and Justice

Dear Noah and Justice,

I was driving to work today after taking you to school and was consumed with my thoughts. That's usually what happens when I'm driving. It's the reason I miss turns when I'm going somewhere even if I know the way. Your mom likes to make fun of me for that. I don't mind, it's pretty funny.

I'm usually thinking things like: What I would do this week to get a certain amount of work done. How I would best manage my time. Which decision would be best for this or that major life thing.

As I merged into traffic on the loop, I started thinking about you guys. How I want you to know that you can do anything you want with your life. You are so young, bright, and full of energy and enthusiasm. I know you're only 6 and almost 4 right now, but I want to make sure your zealousness doesn't get bridled for unnecessary reasons. I want to make sure that you thrive and flourish and hit the world head on, with full-speed, cautious but confident, careful yet courageous.

You know Minecraft, right? The game you love to play on the iPhone and iPad. Well, life is like that. An open world ready for you to quite literally, dig into.

At your disposal there is wood, dirt, stone, and other things you can use to make cool stuff. You can build a house, dig a tunnel, or make a giant statue of a lego guy. Really whatever you want. You have a blank slate to do anything. Just make sure it's something that you feel is worthwhile. Build it for yourself. For the reason that you want, not what you think someone else will appreciate. Let that be a side effect.

You don't always have to start from scratch though. You know how one of your favorite things with Minecraft is to join someone's world and explore what they've built. Like your Aunt Jessica? She's spent a ton of time building crazy things that she likes and she's generous to let you join her world, explore and build new things with her.

Sometimes you can indeed build from scratch, but often times you can join with someone else and build on what they've started. You don't have to do one or the other. Do both if you want. Either way, there is lots to build, lots to do. And you have the freedom and the power to do whatever you want.

Don't get sucked into the idea that you have to build a certain thing or do it in a certain way. There are general guidelines to follow that are helpful; harvesting trees to create wooden palettes, making a pickaxe to harvest stone, making a stone pickaxe to harvest iron, gold, and diamonds. But don't let that hold you back from really going all out with your creation, once you've got the basics. Remember we're talking about Minecraft here, but I want you to think about your life in the same way.

You are much too young to comprehend this life metaphor right now, but as you grow older under my lead and training, I hope to instill these principles deep within you.

Oh, also. Just like in Minecraft, Creepers exist in the real world too. It's best to just avoid them when you can. They won't add any value to your life. If you need to, kill them with a sword or build a pit of lava that they'll just blindly walk into, metaphorically speaking of course.

When you're older, watch the video below and try to make the connections for yourself.

I love you,


PS. I can't wait to play with you today when I get home from work.

This post was partially inspired by Max Temkin's Creative Mornings talk.