7 abk Thoughts on Your 7th Birthday

Excuse me’ coughed a cricket who’d seen Gerald earlier on, ‘But sometimes when you’re different you just need a different song.’- Giraffes Can’t Dance

Dear Banks-

1. You have been blessed with a smattering of unique talents and qualities. Embrace them. If you ever feel that you are different, the quicker you can view that as a massive strength instead of as a weakness, the more you will be able to enjoy life and help others.

2. You (and your sister) are the greatest gifts this world has ever given your mother and me. You taught me unconditional love, though it took me a couple of years to truly wrap my head around being a parent. For the past five years, we have been two peas in a pod, and I hope that will continue forever.

3. Happiness comes from having a wonderful relationship with yourself. The world sometimes ignores the importance of this. If you have ridiculously high standards for yourself, forgive and be easy on yourself if you occasionally fall short. If your standards aren’t lofty enough for your liking, work on that. Your relationship with yourself will rub off on all of your relationships with others.

4. Perfection does not exist, and the pursuit of it is exhausting. When you come home with a 100 on an assignment, I am proud of you. When you come home with a 90, I am even prouder.

5. Respect, admire, and enjoy nature. Play outside every day for all of your life. Sunlight, sunrises, and sunsets soothe the soul.

6. If you ever feel like Gerald the Giraffe, call me and let’s talk. Been there, done that. If you ever come across someone else who feels like Gerald the Giraffe, offer some encouragement, a kind word, or a smile. Shine your light, son.

7. You have to live within certain general confines, but otherwise, the world is huge and you can literally do anything. Think for yourself. Pursue your curiosities. Be creative. Never stop learning or trying to better yourself. Create your own world that you want to live in. (I do my best to SHOW you this every day.)

With love-

Dad

2/10/22 (for your time capsule)

Ocean Springs, MS

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