I awoke this morning to a smiley, giddy baby. He crawled about the bed happily, clapped, and continued his morning exploration.
A few moments later Mr. B came into the room and snuggled with me. “I love you,” he whispered to me as I breathed in this darling 5 year old.
I savored those moments. Moments where the world was beautiful. I felt safe and loved, the mantra I often recite to my kids in moments of struggles. “You are safe, and you are loved.”
I wish I had a pause button. So I could stop time there indefinitely.
Because across the bed my husband was awake, all ready perusing the news. He said nothing, which told me every thing.
My children are bi-racial; their father being Hispanic. My daughter and I: we are females. And just like that, every one of us are considered inferior and unworthy by the man our nation elected to be our president.
The men from the country in which my husband’s parents emigrated from were lumped together and all declared “rapists.” Just like that. By the man who will run our country. Good men who have done nothing wrong, reduced to something atrocious because of the color of their skin.
Y’all, I’ve been sexually abused as a child. I’ve been raped as a college student. By white men.
And I would never lump all white men together and deem them sexual predators just because I’ve encountered two of the grimiest and lowest of them all in my lifetime.
Our future president goes to trial next week for the rape of a 13 year old girl. If you can overlook that, if you’re only rebuttal is, “..but Hillary…” then you are a part of the problem.
Sexual assault is NOT okay. Defending it is NOT okay. And bringing down an entire group of people by eroneously calling them “rapists” is NOT okay.
I’ve birthed 3 babies. Something our future president views as an inconvenience. I have nourished them with my body; something our future president believes is his to objectify and grab however he sees fit because he’s a “celebrity.”
That’s not okay. For me. For my beautiful, brilliant daughter. For any female in this world, regardless of race, creed, or religion. Their bodies are not for anyone to objectify or violate, male or female, rich or not.
My heart hurts today.
I often can find the words I need for my children, and today I have been stumbling along, not sure if I am figuring out this all correctly.
Mr. B looked at me this morning, after learning who won the presidency, and said, “Is Papa going to have to leave now? Does this mean he’s bad? Am I bad like him or good like you?”
Unacceptable, America. Unacceptable.
After he watched his papa leave he held my hand and bravely asked, “If they make him leave the country, will I get to say good-bye first?”
And that is when I cried all the ugly tears.
J was born and raised in America, y’all. And I don’t discuss politics much with my kids. I answer questions, but mostly, I want their worlds to be as pure and beautiful as they can be for as long as possible.
Obviously those days have now come and gone.
Most of what they know they’ve gathered from other sources. They’ve heard other people talk. They’ve caught snippets on the radio. I’ve tried to set them straight when they say something inaccurate, and I’ve even admonished them for calling our future president unkind names because I want them to be better people than that.
No, sweet boy, no your papa will not be kicked out of this country. This is his country, just like every single other person living here – citizen or not.
But he will be discriminated against because of how he looks. We’ve experienced that several times before now, and now that door has been opened wide for the outside world full of hateful people who now think it’s acceptable I can only imagine it will get worse before it gets better. And sadly, my dear boy, you may be, too.
Except I’ve been told so many times before how lucky you are, Mr. B. You, with your sandy blonde hair and beautiful brown eyes. You with your beautiful complexion that is just light enough to get away with no one ever knowing that you’ve got the blood of mighty Mayan warriors flowing through your veins. Lucky that you can deny half of your heritage if you so wish, if ever you need, and no one will ever have to be the wiser that you are indeed half Hispanic.
I don’t want you to pass as just another white boy. I want you to stand tall and strong, and be exactly you. My beautiful, intelligent, mighty boy. You will change the world, I just know it. And you don’t have to deny part of who are to get there, regardless of what others may suggest.
Miss H said she had a tummy ache. I had to resist the urge to confess I did too.
What did I tell them?
Not enough, that’s for sure.
Probably not even the right thing to be honest.
I told them that there are a lot of hateful and unkind people in this world, but they – we – are better than that. I told them that the doors have been opened for that unkind rhetoric to be spoken more freely, but it is their absolute jobs to be vessels of love and kindness in this world.
I told them that people who hate other people based on what they look like, believe in, or who they love, are cowards. Weak, scared people who only know how to feel strong and powerful by putting down others and making them feel bad.
I told them they are kind human beings. That when they hear someone say something hateful, they will not be unkind in return. Instead they will show love and kindness, even in those moments that are terribly difficult, because Momma is trying hard, and Papa is trying hard, fighting to make this world a better place for them; but we need their help. We need them to fight just as hard. With love and kindness.
I told them it is easy to be mean. Especially when someone hurts us. When someone tells us that the people we love are bad, or that we ourselves are bad, it is so easy to get angry and want to hurt them right back. It’s a natural feeling. But we have to take a deep breath and show them love anyway. Because that’s clearly what they need.
There are a lot of things we cannot control in the world. We can do our best to change things. We can fight hard. We can be beacons of light and an example of what humanity ought to be.
Because hurt begets hurt. Anger begets anger. Hate begets hate.
I don’t know what is going to happen. I don’t know what the future has in store for us.
But we are aiming for love and kindness, no matter who runs our country.