Are you free? 5 lessons from Kate on how to be true to yourself.

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Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I’ve written to you a lot about being authentic; True to yourself even when the world doesn’t think you should.

I’ve written to you about being relevant; Being anything other than relevant is being an easy target.

As you become adults – specifically when you become parents with the weight of responsibility upon you, it’s easy to feel trapped, far away from Authenticity and relevance outside of the day to day.

All three of you teach me everyday. You each have your special ways.

Kate, you’ve always epitomized authenticity. The way you dress. The way you talk. Your outlook on life in general. It’s a little different. Maybe a lot different. So we’ve always called you our “hippie child.”

It’s all Grateful Dead and Bob Marley in your world. Closed eyes and twirls and wavy arms and bouncing curls.

Today you asked Mommy “Do you feel free, Mommy?”

Mommy asked what you meant.

“Do you feel freeeee?” you said. And with a twirl and the bounce of your curls you floated into another room.

It caused us to think about how we might be more like you. Because that would be a great way to live. Here are 5 ways I want to be like you Kate:

1. Be a Fighter: You and Max were born 10 weeks early. From the very first moment you were born the nurses and doctors remarked how strong you were. But after we had been home for about 2 weeks from the NICU you stopped breathing. You turned blue in my arms.We rushed you the hospital where they put a breathing tube in and told us the chances “weren’t good”. Over the next few weeks you fought. They even had to double swaddle you to keep you from breaking free and tearing your tubes out. A male nurse remarked: “I’ve never seen a child this sick, fight this hard. This girl is strong.” To this day, despite your pint size, you are the spunkiest kid on the block. You’re delicate but make no mistake – you’re a fighter. I want to learn to fight like you again.

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2. Embrace the Moment: You have always met life head on. Never thinking about what’s next. Just opening your arms wide, taking it all in; smelling the salt air, letting that icecream cone drip, smearing the chocolate on your face. As if each moment may be the last any of us ever know.

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3. Let others know you love them: You often speak your mind (always, actually). You’re the classic misunderstood beauty, but you also know how to love well. You lean on your brother and older sister. Your cuddles have power, because you melt into those you love.

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4. Be an opportunist: Some may call it “sneaky” or even “naughty”.  But with you Kate, it’s just because you are an opportunist. You don’t let things pass you by. Even if it means stealing a sip of milk shake or juice box here and there. You transform outfits into your own creations – because you can. You photo bomb at a seconds notice. While the rest of us play at the beach, you prefer to relax and rest under the umbrella. You go where the wind blows you.

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5. Be yourself: Pictures speak better than words. I hope you never let go of this side of you. Its what makes you “You”. Jack Johnson sings a song “You remind me of You.” That’s your song Kate. You’re unique in everyway. If only we could all care so little what others thought about us. We’d all be happier – and learn to love each other for who we are.

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Mommy and I think you may end up being a comedian – maybe on Saturday Night Live. You’re a walking comedy sketch. You bring so much joy into our lives. You might be sneaky. And yes, sometimes naughty. But we’re so grateful to have a living breathing inspiration like you in our lives.

Among my goals this year, one is to feel “free”. Thank you Kate for showing us how.

I love you,

- Daddy

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