Hi Andy ( Overly familiar - I know but Dear Mr Kirkpatrick seems a little formal).
Anyway last night whilst insomnia and me were hanging out I got an opportunity to listen to your Four Thought talk and I got a little dust in my eye.
I have a daughter, Becky - she's 11, who has a little in common with you, she is severely dyslexic but darned if she lets it touch her. She is such a resilient kick-ass kid and I love her to bits! The reason it got a little dusty in my room was because it was just so nice hear someone say you are right to expose your child to risk, you are right.
As a single parent you constantly question every decision you make regarding your child, you second guess yourself all the time. You constantly question ' am I doing the right thing, is this right?' You get all these statistics thrown at you, stating that as the child of a single parent you're basically DOOMED!!!
I have done my best to raise a capable, kind and independent person. She walks to and from school daily and sometimes when I get home from work she will have cooked dinner or tried her hand at baking something (usually without a recipe - its hit and miss but she'll make a good fist of it). People often ask me about my child minding arrangements and I'll tell them that I have none and they choke on their Bourbon biscuit and look at me aghast and think/say 'how very negligent of you'. There is no point telling them that Becky approached me at the start of the school year and said she felt ready to look after herself and wanted to give it a try.
There is no point saying that I trusted her decision because I know she makes good ones. I definitely don't tell those people about the climbs Becky has seconded or the rather sharp knife collection she has (she is a Scout) or the fact that I let her play with fire. It's not just the strangers who think I'm negligent either - friends and family all choke on their Bourbons too. So the reason I am writing is to thank you because for the next couple of days I am going to question myself just a little less and I am going to feel just a tiny bit smug because Andy Kirkpatrick said I'm right, so there!
A Snickers bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram