The co-founder of Facebook, took to his own platform to announce the arrival of his second daughter. The couple decided to name her August - 'the respected'. And in a style befitting a thoughtful parent, he has penned an open letter to August with his wife, Priscilla.
When their first daughter, Maxima was born, the couple had written a letter for her as well. It reflected the thoughts of a first-time parent - they had started viewing the world differently. Suddenly, their every action was 'safe', their every thought was about making the world a better place for Max to grow up.
And when August Chan Zuckerberg arrived, they decided to celebrate the most beautiful and yet ephemeral phase in our lives - childhood. "The world can be a serious place. That's why it's important to make time to go outside and play", the letter says.
The letter to August
As a parent, it is hard not to worry about your children. And yet, it is important to watch them grow and make new memories. And this is what Mark and Priscilla want for Max and August - to enjoy their childhoods as much as they can. The letter voices that exact sentiment.
"You will be busy when you're older, so I hope you take time to smell all the flowers and put all the leaves you want in your bucket now. I hope you read your favorite Dr. Seuss books so many times you start inventing your own stories about the Vipper of Vipp.
I hope you ride the carousel with Max until you've tamed every color horse. I hope you run as many laps around our living room and yard as you want. And then I hope you take a lot of naps. I hope you're a great sleeper. And I hope even in your dreams you can feel how much we love you."
It is refreshing to see that the expectations of a really rich and a powerful couple from their child are so simple. The letter to August continues,
"Childhood is magical. You only get to be a child once, so don't spend it worrying too much about the future. You've got us for that, and we'll do everything we possibly can to make sure the world is a better place for you and all children in your generation."
I am sure these words will remain with August even when she is all grown up, if and when she decides to be a parent herself.
Parenting lessons from Priscilla and Mark
Mark's paternity leave put to good use
Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder and CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Dr. Priscilla Chan is a pediatrician by profession. Needless to say, they are quite busy in their lives. However, they have changed the way power-couples raise their kids.
- Time. Both of them spend time with the family. Mark often posts pictures of the family time, be it a simple barbeque, or the time when he decided to try being the assistant chef to his wife. In fact, he has announced that he is planning to take 4 months of paternity leave to spend more time with August.
- Gratitude. Mark often talks about being grateful for the time he gets to spend with his family. There is no taking anyone for granted. The couple is all about giving back to the society, having pledged 99% of their earnings to charity.
- Down-to-earth attitude. The children are going to grow up rich. However, I feel that they won't end up being spoiled, entitled kids. And the reason is the way the couple lives - a simple life without bragging about their wealth.
- Keeping it simple. Spot Mark in any photo - he wears the same wardrobe. While a simple wardrobe is linked to higher efficiency, he knows that he does not need designer clothes to make himself feel good. What he does instead is wherever he goes, he runs with his teammates. And I am sure this simple way of living is going to trickle down to the kids as well!
- Gadget-free parenting. I am not sure what happens behind closed doors, but most of the photos of Max are about her playing with the family dog. The father-daughter duo enjoys swimming, riding the bicycle and enjoying the fresh air.
I believe we can take a page from his book, keep the phone aside, and spend time with our kids while we still can. Because before we know it, they are going to be all grown up and would want to be 'left alone'. So moms and dads, be sure to enjoy your child's childhood as this couple aims at doing.
This article was originally published on theAsianparent Singapore
READ: An open letter to Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg: From a mom of two, especially for you