Every time we attend Friday prayers my son always places his sandals in mine. There isn’t really a reason to, there is plenty of space to place them beside mine or anywhere else for that matter. So when I asked him why he did it he simply said “So I can find mine easily”. It was touching to hear that, as a father I’m watching my kids grow up so fast, and time starts to create a natural distance between us. That distance is not a bad thing, just a result of them growing up and becoming more independent.

Think about it from one simple aspect, a child goes from you feeding her or him, to then being able to feed themselves, a natural distance is created. But when my son put his slippers inside of mine I viewed at it as sort of symbolic to the relationship I want to have with my kids. No matter how much distance comes between us, I always want to be the first place they come to when they need something. I want them to feel safe in my presence, to be able to trust me to help no matter how bad the mistake.

The thing is there is only so much you can control in life, especially when it comes to the decisions that your loves ones choose to take. You can give them advice, you can show them the mistakes you made, you can teach them what it takes to live a life of meaning, but in the end they will have to decide the path that brings their dreams to life.

Then, when they do take that path, all we can do is love and support them with all our hearts, whether we agree or not with their decisions. So when you read this my son I want you to know that no matter how hard life gets, no matter how hard you fall, no matter how lost you become, just like the way you used to put your slippers in mine to find them easily, you will always find me easily, with open arms, ready to lift you up again.