I love writing to you. I love the thought that one day, an adult version of you, maybe even a parent yourself, will read my words from a time when you were still small and young. Perhaps you'll learn something about me you didn't know. I dream that maybe my words will help your current situation, whatever it may be. At the very least, I hope you can feel the love I carry for you always.
But sometimes... I am filled with uncertainty about what I should write. To be honest? How honest? How much should I protect future-you from present-me?
The world is filled with unimaginable beauty and good, my loves. I want you to know all of it. There are good people everywhere, we call them "The Helpers". In every city, town, and community, there are The Helpers. Mom and I are some of them. You'll grow to become them, too. In some ways, you're already The Helpers, because of your good and joyful hearts.
But today, this week... I'm struggling. I nearly wrote that I'm struggling to find my path forward, but that's untrue. You two are my path forward. You're the answer to every question I ask. But current events and the current political climate together create a country that I'm often disappointed in. Sometimes, I find the accumulation of terrible events and deeds happening daily to weigh heavily upon my shoulders.
Right now, we have the most unqualified person in history sitting in the Oval Office, pulling strings and making decisions as if he truly represents the people of the United States. He's selfish and cruel, uncaring about the plight of the poor and middle-classed; unable to sympathize with desperation and heartbreak that come with disasters that have wreaked havoc in the lives of millions of people. His agenda includes taking affordable health care away from the masses, building a huge wall across the US/Mexico border, preventing anyone of the Muslim faith from entering our country, refusing to aid refugees fleeing murder and devastation in their home countries, handing tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and removing the ability for women to make our own decisions about our reproductive health, among other things.
Earthquakes broke apart the earth and killed hundreds of people in Mexico; hurricanes and flooding ravaged Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands. Months later, much of Puerto Rico is without power and water and food and the death toll continues to climb. Much of northern California and the northwestern part of the States fell victim to fire after blazing fire, burning up homes and businesses and lives. In October, a man mass-murdered 50 people at an outdoor music festival in Vegas from a 32nd floor hotel room with automatic weapons. A few weeks later, another man rented a truck and drove it onto a pedestrian path in Manhattan, killing 8 people. In November, another man mass-murdered 26 people inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas with a semi-automatic rifle. That was 6 days ago. Since then, we're learning about the horrific things that men in power have done to women just because they wanted to and they could. Huge names in politics and entertainment are falling from grace as countless women step forward to share stories long hidden and held close for fear of personal and professional consequences.
I carry so much empathy and compassion for others that reading and listening to accounts from victims of any one of these issues is taxing. As a whole, the cumulative experiences of pain and suffering are crippling. At the end of all of it, through the haze of knowing that these things have happened and are happening, the thought I'm left with is:
What if these things happen to MY babies, like they happen to other people's babies every day?
I'm living on a thin edge between the planes of confidence and fear, my loves. Every decision I make is calculated to help you become the best adult you can possibly be but also to keep you as safe as I can. Having lived through middle school and high school myself, I know that being a kid on the fringe or being an "outcast" from whomever happens to be popular, can be character-building experiences. I also realize that for some kids, these terrible experiences have ended their lives. Ultimately, I don't get to choose what experiences you get and which you don't. We both just have to live with what comes to us.
I know I make mistakes. I'll make more. I'm sorry for what I don't get right.
Just know that everything I do... it's borne of my absolute love and devotion for each of you.
So grow. Learn. Conquer. Seek. Step forward into the light and find your paths. Be bold and confident, children of mine, and together we will do our best to keep the fear and darkness at bay. Together, we will help create a culture, a country, a world that's a better place to be than it is today.
I will always be behind you.