Today we celebrate your first 6 months of life. The expression "the days are long but the years are short" rings so true reflecting back on just how fast 6 months have flown by. On this day, I find myself contemplating your future. In particular, thinking about just what your first 18 years of life living in our home will look like.
Undoubtedly, your mom and I will have an undue influence of your early world view, since we'll be the adults you'll spend the most time with. And so I thought about just what kind of role model I'll be for you. Not some notion of the role model I aspire to be. But just the person I am and what you might see in that.
The first thing I thought you might ultimately notice is just how much our household breaks from gender norms. You'll grow up with a dad that cooks dinner every night, does the dishes, as well as the household laundry. You'll also grow up with a mom that's the handy one around the house, handling repairs, fixing appliances, and more.
You'll also witness your mom and I's true partnership in everything from managing our household, making important life decisions, raising you, and even working together as co-founders of a startup. You'll see just how two type-A personalities take on everything in their lives. But even more importantly, you'll observe the subtle differences in each of our approaches. You'll see the thoughtful rigorous approach I bring to every decision alongside your mom's more prudent drive towards action. You'll inevitably hear your mom's frustration with me asking whether we've been MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive) about a decision and her accurate rebuttal that not every decision in life needs to be so exhausting. And you'll realize that the best answer lies somewhere in between our two perspectives. You'll also witness my ingrained bias towards conflict-avoidance paired with your mom's graceful approach to always directly addressing the elephant in the room. And you'll realize, just as I long have, that she is the role model that you and I both will continually aspire to follow.
When it comes to work, you'll find a dad that's not simply enjoying the spoils of his good fortune and hard work in his 20s and early 30s, but instead a dad that continues to work hard driven by his deep passion for his craft, his sense of obligation to his customers, and the impact he continues to hope to have on this world. You'll also directly experience the many benefits and equally many costs associated with being an entrepreneur. You'll grow up enjoying the flexibility the entrepreneurial life enables, as we go on long meandering hikes on a Tuesday afternoon. But you'll equally see the demands of entrepreneurship that doesn't allow you to simply turn it all off just because it's a Saturday or we're on vacation. While I won't give you the opportunity to watch me change the oil in the garage, I do hope you take me up on my constant offer for you to be an intern with us, teaching you the ropes on everything from handling customer service, managing the books, to hopefully even coding some product features. And ultimately help you to decide whether the life of an entrepreneur is for you.
Beyond work, you'll tremendously benefit from starting your relationship with me in my late 30s as opposed to my early 20s. Back then I honestly derived almost no meaning from anything beyond my work and that was reflected in my maniacal focus on it at the exclusion of most everything else. It was only later that I reached a new wisdom about how much more there was to life. For example, you'll inevitably experience your mom and I's obsession with exercise, whether its the runs I'll drag you on, the RunKeeper screenshots I'll send you and mom hitting a new PR, or learning about the new workout class your mom is trying out this month. You'll also experience first-hand what living in California means to us: access to the great outdoors all year long with incredible hikes, views, and sceneries that demand to be regularly explored. You'll also see just how much we value vacations to see everything this world has to offer and to explore the many ways of living beyond our own. Without a doubt, you'll also be sucked into whatever your mom's latest hobby is, whether it's gardening, sewing, cooking, worm composting, bread-making, baking, and so many more.
You'll also observe how your mom effortlessly acts as our collective social chair, keeping our calendar full of social activities with the best of friends, ensuring we don't lose touch with the family and friends that matter most to us. But you'll ultimately realize that while she makes it looks effortless, building and maintaining meaningful relationships takes real dedicated work that requires careful tending, otherwise you might easily wake up one day having lost touch with those you once cared for the most.
So Zoe, simply by virtue of who your mom and dad are, you'll grow up with all these things and mostly think they are normal. But that world view will in reality be a reflection of the role model your mom and I inevitably were throughout your childhood.