My Hopes

I have no idea why, but nearly from the second I woke up today, I started thinking about the Spawn.

Oh, not in the normal, wake up and wonder how the little fetus is doing way. In a, what is the Spawn going to grow up to be like as a human way.

As I said, I have no idea why this came up now. Maybe a delayed reaction to the anniversary of MLK‘s Dream speech? Seems unlikely, but let’s just go with that.

I realized for the first time, while working through my own musings, why moms write letters to their unborn child(ren). The practice always seemed a bit weird to me. Writing a letter that likely wouldn’t be able to be read by its intended recipient for at least five years just didn’t make sense. But now I get it. While it is a novelty item you can pass on to your child when they are old enough to read and/or understand it, it’s a bit of a contract for yourself as well.

A contract to remind you of the hopes and dreams you had before this little person took over your life and changed everything. A contract of commitment and love. Perhaps most of all, a bit of a plan as to what kind of parent you hope to be.

So, while this is not my letter to the Spawn and while I may not actually end up writing that letter at all, here are a few things I would like to remember after the fact…

I hope that your father and I raise you to be strong enough to stand up to others when you believe what they are doing or saying is wrong. I hope that strength isn’t just available for you to use in defence of yourself, but also for use when you see an injustice done on someone else. Even on someone else you don’t particularly like.  Risking your own “popularity” to defend someone you don’t care for or know is possibly the greatest show of strength of character a person can express. 

I hope we have the courage to teach you about the horrors of this world, before you meet someone who has experienced them or come into contact with them yourself. I refuse to let my desire to shield you from those horrors make you unaware and unprepared for the warning signs of violence, or molestation, or hate.

And about hate…I hope that the way your father and I look at a person for their merits is ingrained in you. I hope that colour simply adds variety to your eyes; that a person’s sexual orientation matters as little to you as their breakfast preferences; and that their faith (or lack thereof) is respected without feeling the need to alter it. 

I hope you give everyone the opportunity to be trusted, without blindly allowing a person to put you in a place of mental or physical harm. Respect those who earn it, but be courteous to everybody. You never know when the person at the front desk answering the phone is actually the owner of the company. (And to be honest, I’ve met receptionists who do more for you than any CEO ever could.) Everyone gets an equal shake, but trust your intuition as you develop it.  

I hope that you manage to grow up healthier than either your father or myself, but–if you don’t–I hope that you can be a person who has an illness, rather than an illness that defines you as a person.

And lastly, I hope that you have the common sense to look before you leap. To never-ever-ever stop at the bottom of an escalator or on a flight of stairs. To help or give a kindness to a person who needs it, just because you can. Most of all, I hope your common sense tells you that no matter how enlightened you feel, you never have enough knowledge, seen enough places, read enough books, or run out of ideas.

You are a vessel of hope. The embodiment of two people who will give up their lives to see you brought into yours. We aspire for you to be a greater person than either of us, but hope that you always remember how hard we work for you despite our faults. And despite your faults and failures, we are your biggest champions.

Heavy stuff for a Friday morning before 9 o’clock, no? Still, is it ever too early to hope?

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