I’ve been thinking about all the chaos the United States is going through; this country I adore so much and all the faith I have in her and her people.
As with most holidays, I think and think the whole day through about what these holidays mean. MLK Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and so on. I mostly think about how lucky I am to have these wonderful people in my life and all the good fortunes. I have a home, a great husband, four healthy girls and work I love. It’s a shame I don’t feel this grateful every day.
But MLK Day was different this year. A man who spoke of peace and love and we honor every year was followed just a few days later of the inauguration of a man the world thinks is about to destroy us. His election has divided our country in a way I never thought I’d see.
My girlfriend and I went back and forth the other night about everything going on in the world and raising our kids in this time.
I believe each generation has and will continue to have a struggle they think is unfathomable but lately these troubles seem insane. Insane in the way that we should know better than to have. These are not ignorant things going on but true hate.
The conversation began when my friend asked me
- Am I going to the Women’s March on Washington?
- Should she take her daughter (she is just slightly older than my big girls)?
I replied that I couldn’t go logistically and that I thought her daughter was too young. Am I right? I have no idea but my reasoning was that while it’s important to teach our girls to be strong, independent women and to defend their rights, I’m not sure if the walk would turn ugly. If the peacefulness would be enveloped by hate.
There are always those protesters that are out to destroy in the name of hate as we witnessed this week. They belong to no side and have no agenda other than to cause destruction.
My daughters don’t care about color, race, sex or any of that stuff; at least at the moment and I’m not ready to have a conversation about people that do have a problem. In our home the world still gets along.
This may be stupid and naive but I want my girl’s childhood to be as free from stress for as long as I can make it that way.
They describe their friends in terms of what they wore or did. If they describe them by their looks it’s often “her skin is darker or lighter than mine, her hair is really curly, or he’s really tall.”
If they do comment that someone is black or white, missing an arm or in a wheelchair, I don’t react to it. They are children describing the world as they see it. Everyone is made to look different.
If they ask us why are those two boys are holding hands or why is that child bouncing off the walls or why is she using those rods to walk, I say because that’s the way God made them and aren’t they beautiful?
I’m not going to tell anyone, including my children, what to believe. I will guide them with tolerance, and open mindedness. I will teach them to listen to others opinions and thoughts, read, read, read and act in a way they are proud of. I ask them if they would be proud if Grammy or their teacher witnessed their behavior.
I will tell them to believe in people that make them feel good, not feel ashamed or guilty.
Live guided by love, not hate and if you are scared we have to figure out why because that fear can turn into hate.
Many of you know that my H loves all things boy related and is very quirky. She went through a phase where she wanted to wear the same outfit everyday. I let her. I washed it for her each night and she wore it the next day to pre-school.
I did this for a couple of reasons:
- It made her feel comfortable, like she knew it would be OK if she was wearing this “uniform” she loved so much
- The child asks for so little and I do laundry everyday anyway
A friend mentioned that I might want to change it up and let her know people might think she looks like a boy or is stinky wearing the same thing all the time.
I rejected those comments. My children’s only safe place in this world right now is home and that means in Steve’s and my arms. We are where she runs to when she is hurt, scared or confused. If we bring up things that MIGHT happen to her, I feel we are rejecting her ideas of who she is or wants to be. I’m not talking about stranger-danger and defending yourself. I’m talking about being who you are comfortable with being.
It turns out not a single kid said a word about her looks or even seemed to notice. It’s been four years and she’s been called a boy to which she laughs it off and says, “I’m not a boy.” Or simply ignores the person. I’m not bringing up issues that are not issues to her therefore creating them.
I remind my girls we can do ANYTHING we want in life.
We focus on our brains MORE than our looks.
They know to be KIND to EVERYONE.
They WILL march in time and they will break through the ceilings that my generation couldn’t break for them.
Luckily, they have a father who will help lift them up with me.
I will give them the clean slate to start their life full of love and pray that the world around them keeps that palette full of bright, beautiful colors, enough to snuff out the dark.
I will cross those bridges of hate as they come into our world. But today they will play safely at home with the melting pot of friends they have and see as looking just like them.
*I welcome all of your opinions if they are constructive and kind, they don’t have to agree with mine but disrespect will be deleted. Thank you for reading