Dear baby bear,
Oh my sweet girl, you’ll never remember this night (because you’re three) but at some point, I pulled you in bed with me. I held your hand and kissed your cheek. Tears started falling from my eyes as sheer panic washed over me. I ran to the bathroom to throw up – because, well, anxiety – and came back to your tiny snores as I tried to wrap my mind around what just happened.
I am so sorry for the choices our country – and some of our friends and family – made tonight. I am so sorry this is the world you live in. You deserve so much more than this. I can’t change what’s happened tonight, but I can make some promises to you about what’s going to happen next.
I promise to always defend your right as a female. You are worthy. You are strong and capable. You deserve every right a man has; never believe differently. You have the power to break glass ceilings, my child.
I promise to support what you want to do with your body. Dying your hair blue? Fine. Terminating a pregnancy? Fine. Getting your tongue pierced when you’re 18? Fine. (Although, from my personal experience, not really worth it.)
I promise to be more patient with you. You’re about to meet a lot of barriers in your life. I won’t be one of them. We’re in this together, kid.
I promise to give you a voice so that if anyone dares trying sexually assaulting you (verbally or physically), you will have the courage and power to say “No” and report it. I will never, ever make you feel like it’s not a big deal or that it’s “normal” or to be expected because you’re a female. That’s bullshit.
I promise to always, always teach you about love, kindness and empathy. These values are so important and they matter more than people are giving them credit for these days. You have a big heart, full of love; don’t ever lose that.
I promise to work harder than ever to teach you that skin color, the way people pray, if they like boys or girls, or where they come from does NOT make a person “good” or “bad” … what makes someone good or bad is how they treat those who aren’t exactly like them.
I promise to instill self-worth and independence in you. You come from a long line of independent, strong women, sweet girl. Your great grandma left our tiny hometown after high school – alone – to go make her own paycheck in Chicago. Your grammy is one of the strongest, most stubborn people I’ve ever met in my life – and also the hardest working. They both fought for your rights – your right to vote, your right to an education, your right to equal pay. I, of course, have fucked up a lot in my life, but two things that have been consistent are my drive for a successful career and my independence. (I’ve also been told once or twice that perhaps I’m stubborn.) There’s this thing about an apple falling from a tree … I believe that’s pretty relevant here. This will serve you well; I promise.
I promise to surround you with a community of people who are caring and loving –people who value what we value. People who will be a pillar of support for you and help teach you things I can’t.
More than anything, I promise to never give up hope. I will work with unwavering faith to show you that this world is not scary, people are good and if we keep loving and working together, we have the ability to change it.
This country may be filled with elitism, bigotry, misogyny, racism and blatant, pure hate … but I promise our home will never be.
I love you,