My mom recently told me that when I was born, she sincerely prayed for me to have to particular qualities that would help me in my life.

It’s funny because when my son was born, I also felt a deep desire to pray for something in particular for Henry. It’s hard to want something for someone who will have to eventually become his own person. I agree with Merlin Mann that the absolute best you can do for your child is allow them to be messed up in their own way. So I worry: if I pray for Henry to be calm, is it just because I don’t like noise? If I pray for him to be artistic, am I already trying to live vicariously through him?

So here’s my prayer as I hold him in the hospital. I want him to know depth. I believe the world and every part of it is deep. I want him to just know that whatever he stands on, there are tectonic layers and plates stretching through time and space and all resting on a molten core that infinitely provides energy for everything he does.

As much as I can avoid passing along fears, inadequacies, and all sorts of shortcomings, I want him to know that deep down, underneath his own quirks, that he is not alone. That there is a richness to the soil he is planted in and to never stop drawing from it.