Hello. The world feels like a strange and dark place right now to your mama, and so I want to write a letter to the future yous. Because right now, you are so little, you might not understand most of the words I have to say. And, because right now, the world exists in the arms of your mama and daddy, and it is good.
But one day, you will be big. Bigger than you are now. Big enough to reach the sink without a step stool; big enough to tower over your mama, and probably your daddy too. One day, you’ll be able to read the news, and you’ll learn all sorts of things. Like hate. And anger. And anguish. When you do, I hope you’ll be brave.
In high school or college, you may see a girl drinking too much. A girl who can’t stand up or answer your questions; I hope that you stand beside her. I hope that if she disappears outside, you find her. I hope that you protect her from any person who might intend her harm. I hope that you will find her phone, and call the last dialed number to get her a ride. If her phone is unreachable, stay with her. Keep her safe. [1.]
Because, my darling, little boys, you were born with great privilege. You were born white. You were born boys. And you were born rich. With all of those things comes a great deal of power, which requires a great deal of responsibility. You can pretend that you do not have this power, but you shouldn’t. Instead, I beg you to use your strength for people who have none, or for people who need to borrow yours for just a little while.
I need you to be brave when, in the midst of a strange and frightening day on your job, you have to choose between destroying something you swore to protect and fixing a situation you hoped might never happen. With all the world watching, I hope you’ll be brave. [2.]
Someday, you might find yourself in a place where you finally feel safe, and accepted in ways you haven’t before. This place will feel like a home for your soul where people understand, love, and get you. If someone should come in and start to destroy that place, start taking lives you love, I hope you’ll be brave. I hope that you will protect, that you will fight for that space, and those you love. If you exist outside that space, if you are not a member of that soul home, I ask you to use your strength and power to give a voice to those who lost theirs. That you will not drown out their voices with your incomparable experiences. [3.]
I hope that you shout until your voice goes hoarse, that you parade in front of the Capitol to see changes you want. I dream of passion and power and grace in your futures.
I hope you’ll bravely defend parents and children who experience the painful outcomes of horrific accidents. I pray you not jump to hasty conclusions about the parenting abilities of your fellow humans; that you share grief, and fear, and compassion with others experiencing losses you could never imagine and I hope you never know.[4.]
Be brave, boys. The world turns on its axis cruelly this June, and mama would like nothing more than to curl up in a ball and cry, but you make me brave. I will do everything I can to help you be brave too.
Prickly Pear Mama
[1.] State of California v. Brock Turner sentencing, June 2.
[2.]Gorilla killed after toddler falls in zoo enclosure, Cinncinnati, May 31.
[3.]Pulse Nightclub mass shooting, Orlando, June 12.
[4.]Toddler Lane Graves attacked and killed by alligator, Orlando, June 14.