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to Chelsea

Building a helicopter is easy. You can read a manual, put the parts together, perform tests, etc.

But every single day, I watch you grow a helicopter from seed.

Growing a helicopter seems impossible:

Shortcut-seeking folks like me cannot grow great helicopters. Great helicopters require vigil and grit and planning skills that are incompatible with shortcuts. It's that exact, endless, everyday effort that makes you so unbelievably good at what you do.

And all of that energy can only be summoned from a heart that wants to do The Right Thing, no matter the price.

Because of you, she's becoming the best bean she can be.

I'm profoundly proud to be your husband, and so deeply grateful that you, specifically, are Marcy's mom.

-- huzzbuzz

to Mom

This Mother's Day, I want to thank you for one very-specific-but-hard-to-articulate gift you've given me -- maybe the greatest gift you've given me.

It's a strange soup composed of four ingredients: justice, introspection, pragmatism, and whimsy.

Justice: Thank you for always rewarding me for what I did, and not who I was. Power is unevenly and unfairly distributed; folks who learn otherwise become evil/resentful people. You taught me that fairness can be a verb, and that sharing power is the only sustainable strategy for living. Moreover, that power is exercised via each and every decision you make, every day of your life.

Introspection: Thank you for teaching me that of course I choose the person I become. It's an underrated superpower: the simple belief that I can fix bad habits, bad attitudes, bad reputations, etc. with enough persistence and self-awareness. Mistakes are inevitable; instead of scolding me or blaming the universe, you did the hard work of helping me find my specific behaviors that conflicted with reality.

Pragmatism: Thank you for consistently championing common-sense over complexity.

Whimsy: Death is inevitable; it's more fun to celebrate the shortness of life than to bathe in distraction. The weirdness of the world is an endless fount of fun when you curate curiosity. So thank you for teaching me that laughter is the best medicine. Every moment is an opportunity to infect folks with that contagion of joy. When strangers need smiles, we can always offer them a tiny hand.

The coolest thing about this concoction is that I see very little prior art around you. You somehow synthesized it, all on your own.

People don't stumble on soups like this by accident. It takes somebody who is wholly, totally committed to growing a good human.

Sometimes I think you successfully made a good human, despite my best efforts.

-- Taylor