To my future daughter:
At 37 weeks, we are so close to meeting you. We don’t know much about you, but there’s some things I’d like for you. I wish for you all the things a mother should. That you should be healthy, bright, beautiful and should always know happiness. But beyond my wishes, I have some hopes and I hope that all of these come true.
I hope… that you should always know love. A love beyond the outpouring of love you will feel everyday from me, your father, family and community. That one day you will find someone that will make you feel like your heart may explode and it brings tears to your eyes to think about how much you love that other person. And that you’ll never feel a second of regret or have to fight for who you choose to love, because all love is beautiful.
I hope… that you’ll fall in love with a passion, and that you can make that passion a career. That you will wake up every day and say that you love what you’re doing. And though there may be days of frustration, days where you want to give up and walk away, days where you might hate the politics or the game, you find that with each completed task, you feel rejuvenated and fall in love with the task again.
I hope … that before you find all these loves, that your heart is open because you’ve loved yourself so fully that your confidence is radiating. That you’ll seek role models that are strong physically and mentally, that will teach you that every body is perfect, inside and out; the Michelle Obamas,, Misty Copelands, Katrin Davidsdottirs, Serena Williams, Tina Feys, Ellen Degenereses, the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs (RBG!).
I hope… that when you read about #metoo as a footnote in a book that you turn to me and ask how that could have happened. That you should never be made to feel uncomfortable or threatened as you walk down the street. And that you can wear whatever you want, however you want, and will be respected because that choice is yours and yours alone. That no man or woman will ever tell you what you should do with your body, and that choice always belongs to you.
I hope… that every gender will be treated equally, and you’ll never question if you’re getting paid less or treated differently. That you’ll never be questioned about your state of mind because of what time of the month it was or because you decided to carry a child. And that if you have to stand up for yourself, that there will be no fear of repercussion to sound you voice because you are “irrational” or “over-emotional.”
I hope… that you will never have to know the fear of gun violence. That you should never run drills in school just in case, because warning signs were missed and laws didn’t protect you. That you’ll never have to walk into a movie theater or a concert hall and look for the exits as you took your seat. That you’ll have never experience that moment of fear as you walk into a synagogue or holy place and pass the cop that stands at the door, that you might be targeted for what you believe in.
I hope… that swastikas, white hoods and signs of hate are something you only see in your history books and not in the news. That you’ll never read about cemeteries, neighborhoods and buildings desecrated, but instead about their importance, so we can all loudly say together, NEVER AGAIN. That if someone ever says something to you that should never have been said, that it isn’t asked to be swept under the rug and it’s appropriately dealt with and heard.
And I hope… that all of these will be accomplished because of people like you. Children that grow into adults that have learned to love beyond words and have taught others to do the same. That there will be no need for walls to separate us or wars to come between us, because we are all people that are here to help each other. That there are voices that are actually heard from every side and work together to bring about a new day. A day where all the hopes I have for you can be the hopes for every mother and father.
All these things I hope for you and pray that one day soon, they’ll come true.