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Oh, my children, I’m in awe of your growing bodies, your powerful minds, your strong spirits. I’m amazed by how far you’ve come and have high hopes for where you are going. There are many things I hope for you, and one thing I hope is that you may learn to use those growing bodies to work hard.

I hope you can discover the sensation of pleasure at a difficult task accomplished. And not just the pleasure in the accomplishment, but pleasure in the doing. The way it feels when your muscles contract and relax. The way it feels when you’re hungry and thirsty because you’ve burned hundreds of extra calories.

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The way it feels when you’re dirty and sweaty and afterward can wash and feel the true satisfaction of being clean, even while your muscles still ache from a difficult task. The way it feels when your neurons are firing as you actively problem solve how to do a task efficiently. I pray you will learn the sensual feel of your body in motion, coupled with your brain being activated.

I hope you can discover the sensation of pleasure from another human cared for by your calloused hands.

That you will know our gratitude when you lighten the loads of your parents and siblings. That you will know the gratitude of a neighbor after you’ve mowed their lawn or unloaded their moving truck. That you will know the gratitude of a stranger who you’ve treated with dignity and respect through some labor performed.

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I hope you can discover the sensation of pleasure from caring for yourselves. That you will know the pride of maintaining a vehicle, doing your own laundry, and caring for a home. That you will know the sense of accomplishment and independence that comes with following directions and learning a new skill.

That you will develop the confidence to tackle a project you’ve never done before because you’ve learned to fail and try again.

I hope you can discover the sensation of pleasure from caring for those who depend on you. That you will be prepared to work alongside your partners someday and work in service of those special people and possible children you may have. That you will someday look at those children and pray, as I have done, that they too will learn to work hard and find the pleasure of a hard task well done. I pray you will be able to model this pleasure for them.

Keegan Taylor

Keegan is an avid reader and an aspiring novelist who resides near Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and four boys. She blogs about reading and writing at Bibliophile Family on Facebook and Instagram, hides in the closet with a book and a cup of ridiculously rich hot cocoa, and makes a lot of library runs to pick up books on reserve.

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