Dear Kendall and Morgan,
You (and your Mom) are the absolute loves of my life and it’s impossible to fully express the depth of feelings and hopes I have for you. I want so much for you. There is the stuff that’s easy to say: I want you to be happy; I want you to love deeply; I want your first heartbreak to feel better as quickly as possible; I want the two of you to be best friends; I want you to be smart and ambitious; I want you to be kind; I want you to visit your Mom and me often. But there are more important and complex conversations to have.
I want you to be feminists—not in the sometimes slightly pejorative, pop-culturally defined way, but in the simple first-line definition on Wikipedia type way: “a movement and ideology aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.” I know that’s the world I want for you—and if you can help lead or lean in to making it a reality, I think you and all women will be happier.
I want you to be inquisitive: not just in the traditional thirst for knowledge sense, but also about yourself. I hope you constantly ask yourself, “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” and that you then go do that thing. I hope you think about what big, important things might be out of your reach…and then try to reach them anyway.
I hope you fail: not all the time or overall, but certainly some of the time. Failing means you probably tried something really difficult. And I definitely want you to try really hard.
I also want you to choose the right partner. This isn’t about me being a Dad and worrying about finding someone good enough for you (although there is probably some of that). It’s more about making sure your partner allows you to be all of you. You both already have so much strength of character and will (ok, maybe too much will, especially around bed time). I always want your choices to add to or at least reflect that strength, and this is exactly the reason why your partner matters so much. Does s/he genuinely make you stronger? If the answer is yes, then walk down the aisle…as long as you are at least 27 years old and your future spouse comes to your Dad for his blessing first. (Yes, I’m still old school on some things.) By the way, despite agreeing with a great deal of Lean In, I disagree with at least one item: you absolutely do not have to date the bad boys!
Lastly, I don’t want you to want to have it all. Having it all is neither possible nor practical. So instead of all, have some. And make the some about the things you most want and love, while realizing you’ll never get all of the stuff you want. That’s not only ok, but also entirely human.
With love from one of your two biggest fans,