I don’t care so much…

There was a “Stand Against Hate” rally in my town tonight. I had every intention of going, but this damn cold has knocked my feet out from under me and after a full day of work I was worn out. I crawled in bed to read for a few minutes before dinner, and a little person came and snuggled up next to me. The next thing I know I’m blinking awake with bleary eyes and feeling the ins and outs of her breath on my back. 7:03. I could have hopped up, thrown on some clothes, and rushed to the rally. Instead I sat there, just staring at this beautiful, innocent little face.

I wonder so, so often if I’m doing it right, this whole parenting thing. This whole life thing, really. Am I showing my children how to be brave and speak up against injustice? Oh, I tell them, for sure, but what is it they see in me, from me? Is it enough to talk to them about racism and sexism and other inequalities that abound in our world? Is it enough to not hide the news from them, to not shelter them from the hate, to let them see the sadness and the anger and the hurt that even my grown heart sometimes can’t handle? Is it enough to look at the news and denounce the ugly that they see? Is it enough to share the stories that have been shared with me from my friends who are people of color, and to talk with them about how and why things could and should be different?

I wanted to go. I wanted to take them, to show them activism in action. I wanted to show them that it’s not okay to crawl in bed and cover up your head, which I ended up literally doing. I wanted them to know that supporting the good things and condemning the bad is about more than just words. I wanted to show them that there are no excuses to not stand up for what is good, what is right. And yet…here I am in bed.

I haven’t written here in so long. What has driven me to write now? Maybe I’m writing out of guilt, trying to convince myself that it’s okay we didn’t go. Maybe I’m writing to fill the void that’s left by my inaction. But I like to think that I’m writing because I’ve remembered that words are powerful, that words can change the world. And yet…and yet I can’t help but wonder if maybe I’m being a bit selfish, and I’m writing instead of rallying because this, this moment with her beautiful little eyelashes resting gently on her still-baby little cheeks, seems like the most important thing in the world in this moment.                                                                         

Tonight I’ll sit and wonder if I’m doing this right – this parenting thing, this living thing? This being a grown-up stuff is kinda tricky sometimes. Head and heart (and health) sometimes clash. And the parenting gig? Whew! I never knew quite how hard it would be. But I hope and pray that my tiny(ish) humans will one day look back and know that I tried – with both words and actions – to teach them how to love each other and to share that love with the world. I hope they’ll remember the words they so often hear me say: “I don’t care so much about what you become, but who you become. I don’t care so much if you are the best or the smartest or the fastest, but if you are the kindest and you show love to others and always help when you can.”

One Response to I don’t care so much…
  1. Lee
    August 16, 2017 | 5:42 pm

    You are definitely doing this parenting gig right! Hope you feel better, soon!

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