Last Saturday I took part at an event called “Poetic Saturdays” (www.facebook.com/poeticsaturdays), that was created by some very gifted poets to create a safe platform for all kinds of poets and performers. It’s held every first Saturday of the month at Fendika Gallery in Kasanchis. Last week was the second time I attended. After I have been there last month I decided to take this change to encourage myself to start writing again. So I wrote a letter for my two lovely boys. This letter I read last Saturday in front of all the people who attended the poetic Saturday and to my surprise, the people really liked it. So I decided to post the letter here. Originally, I was inspired to write this letter through my brother and his wife, who just had their first baby 4 month ago, my beautiful niece Millie. They had a welcome ceremony for her in August and asked all the family members and friends who attended the event to write down some thoughts and wishes they have for their baby daughter. So after that I decided to write something for my sons too.
Letter to my sons
Dear Ilai, dear Naim
Raising you two boys is for sure the greatest challenge of my life. But also the greatest honor and joy. Although I am confident that love is the key to a happy childhood and upbringing, I would like to share some of the lessons I have learned in my life with you:
- Be open for love
Even tough love can hurt like crazy sometimes, loving someone and being loved back is the most beautiful thing in the world. So don’t be afraid of getting your heart broken. Time heals all wounds and it is totally worth it.
- Have at least one best friend
Someone with whom you can share your fears, your happiness & your sadness. Friendship is the most unconditional and lasting love you can experience.
- Be curious and open-minded
Curious about your surroundings, but also the far far away, and open-minded towards your neighbor, your friends and even strangers.
- Never forget where you are coming from
Embrace your African & European heritage. Learn from me and your dad about our culture and traditions and listen to the stories of your family. Feel proud to be Ethiopian, feel privileged to be Swiss, and feel happy to be “Macchiato”.
- Dream big and don’t be afraid to fail
Only if you try, you can succeed. And success only means that whatever you do or whatever you achieve makes you happy.
- Never fear to express your feelings
Boys DO cry! And when you are falling, I will always be there to catch you, to hug you and to take your feelings seriously.
- Love & respect each other
Brotherhood is a very valuable thing, cherish and take care of this special friendship. You can grow and learn from each other. Just don’t try to team up against me…that is a lost war!
- Treat every woman & every man as you would want to be treated
We are all equal and we all deserve respect.
- Do what you love
No matter if you want to be a dancer, a doctor, a poet, a lawyer or even a superhero, I will always support your choice as long as you do it with love and passion.
- Be true to yourself
Never think that it is necessary to hide a side of yours. Be who you are. My love will always be unconditional and I will always be proud.
- Be kind and patient with your parents
No matter what we do or say, it is all coming out of love and we try our very best every day. And if you don’t hate us at least once in your life, we most probably did something wrong. Just don’t forget, you two are our most precious gift and all we do is to protect and support you because we love you.
Books, newspapers, magazines, poems, blogs and whatever you can get your fingers on. Reading is learning, experiencing, opening up to the world and diving into adventures.
Last, but definitely not least:
- Watch Star Wars
Ok. To be honest, I will anyway force you when you are old enough. But you will thank me for it…promise.