Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Letter to my pregnant friends and new parents

OK. So things are a bit scary right now. In addition to the stuff I'm seeing on the news about the alt-right shit already starting, I got a lovely letter from the girls' school superintendent saying, yeah, hate crime is up in our county and in our schools specifically. Gee. Great. Tell me again how I'm being a whiny baby because I'm upset about the election.

Anyway, so I am totally and completely recognizing your fears right now. I know that belly grabbing worry. As long as they are still in you, you can protect them and shield them from everything, but what kind of world are they going to be born into? What kind of world do they get to grow up in? Is this really a turning point for our country or is it just hormones blowing everything out of proportion? Trust me. I'm right there with you.

total innocence
Here's what I decided, though, as I hugged my own little baby at 2:00 am. I was looking at her perfect little face and worrying about what kind of hate she would encounter as she got older. Her big sisters already have plenty of stories of hate from their peers, and after listening to the oldest tell me her fears as she recounted MORE stories of escalating hate speech, I was nearly in tears. My daughters are the most wonderful people I know. I don't want other people not seeing that. Then I realized the obvious. Other mothers and fathers and parent figures around the country were probably staring at their perfect babies and thinking the same thing. So what if I make sure that my baby grows up to be the antidote? I can do that. I can teach her to see the good and not be a racist asshat. I can teach her that immigrants are cool (her dad's one, so that makes that lesson easy). I can teach her that gender doesn't limit her. I can teach her that families come in all shapes and sizes and styles. I can teach her that love is love. We need a hero. Why can't Sally be that hero?

Even if she doesn't lead a massive cultural revolution some day (or fly around in a cool robot suit), chances are in her own small way she will spread love to the people immediately around her. Even if that is all, that is big. She will be part of the solution. If all of us hugging our precious babies or rubbing our growing bellies decided to be fighters and raise our children to love instead of melting into puddles of despair, think of how that will affect our country. Someone else's kid will have an ally. Someone else's kid will not feel like the whole world is against them because there will be that one light, smiling across the classroom.

So don't freak out just yet. You are powerful. You are growing a powerful person. What we need is a hero and you will give birth to one. You can do this. And in taking on this mission, you will feel stronger and braver. You will have a definite purpose and a willing partner (babies love love). And you will not be alone. Over here, I will be on the same mission raising my own little heroes.

Super Heroes assembling and plotting their next adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment