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Once a tiny bundle of joy, now a young lady, my niece is becoming an adult this weekend – no not like that – she’s on a spiritual retreat and I have been asked to send her a letter of encouragement as she matures.  Mine reveals one of the most important mysteries of life.



While spending time this week reflecting on the world you bring such a sparkle to, I pray you can be open to the following thoughts and advice about one of the most important stepping stones of growing up and life itself.   It’s about the moment you become an adult.

Let me step back to put this moment in proper perspective.

There are times in life where we make huge steps in our maturity, where we learn lessons that will form the foundations of how we will live life and choose our pathways.   They are known as passages. They are learning moments that start when we are too young to know they are happening at all- our first words, first laughs, first steps and stretch throughout our childhoods.

These passages are usually associated with the adults we know, love and respect the most: our parents, grandparents, and close friends of the family.   These are the people we look up to and trust and from whom we gain wisdom, as they have been and always will be there for us on life’s journey. They are the adults who are there to encourage us to have the self-confidence to take that first step, to jump off the high dive, in fact, to take the chances life itself is built upon.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn from these passages and to learn how your relationship to these special people determines whom you are and whom you will be, for it is within your relationship to these special adults that you will discover the biggest life passage of all.

This passage usually comes when you least expect it.  When things are normal and routine. When you are doing something with these adults you have done a hundred times before, but suddenly you see it all in a different way.

Often the passage takes place during a gathering.  You are in your home with a room full of the people you have always known and trusted and looked up to.  Ones who have always been there for you.  Loved you. Encouraged you.  The ones from whom you have gained wisdom.

It may be a holiday setting and those adults may be celebrating with a glass of good cheer, they may be laughing, singing or telling bad jokes.

The passage often becomes one of those ‘slow motion moments in life.’  You know the ones- those snapshots when everything that isn’t important in life fades into the background, the sound literally drops out, and all you are left with is the clarity of your father’s smile, the twinkle in your mother’s eyes when she laughs, the weird dance movements of their friends.

You look around at all these adults you love and respect, then ones who were there for you in good times and bad, who comforted you when you first fell, stayed up taking care of you when you were sick, who were there for you in the glow of your first kiss, or to wipe the tears away after your first broken heart.  And as you look at these people you will experience the revelation that will change your life forever.

In the clearest moment of epiphany you will ever have, it will suddenly dawn on you, and you will realize without in any doubt in your heart that these people who have been the solid foundation of your life, the ones you have always been there and will always be there for you no matter what, are all as crazy as bat shit!

That you are the smartest person in the room, and yet these clowns and all the others like them are in charge – not just of your life – but of the whole effing world!

This is not a subtle revelation – it’s like a gong ringing in your heart and mind. And it is in that instant you become an adult.

Trust me, it’s a scary moment.

Scary because you realize ‘this is it’ – and it doesn’t get any better.

My advice to you is to run as fast as you can away from these crazy ass adults – before you become one yourself.  Before you come to grips with the fact that your relationship with those crazy ass people is all there is to life.

That’s the next passage.  Then it’s your turn to keep the secret of being bat shit crazy from the next generation – at least until they are old and mature enough to deal with it.

You’re an adult now.

Enjoy life – it’s a gift – and all there is.

Love you,

Uncle Steve

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