He’s the one that talks me in off the ledge. I never expect it, but the text will always come when something happens that brings me low.
“How you holding up, kiddo?”
I’m a mess, I tell him. The world weighs on me. How do I gather the strength necessary to fight back, to protect my friends, to even get out of bed in the morning? How? The clouds are heavy.
His kid is a year and a half old now. A beautiful child with a smile to light the world.
“How do you raise a kid in the midst of this?” I ask.
“You read him Where the Wild Things Are and Owl Moon. You hug him. You kiss him. You teach him to be kind and thoughtful. You pray for him to follow through on the lessons you provide.”
That’s just the beginning.
Teach your children tolerance, teach them compassion, teach them justice. Read them fairy tales, let them believe in dragons, and unicorns, and werewolves. Let them find magic in the world.
Teach them to look out for the kids who are alone, who may be scared. Teach them to befriend those kids. Teach them to stand up for those kids.
As they get older, encourage them to be curious. Teach them that learning and knowledge are both their greatest weapons and their biggest responsibilities.
Travel with them. Show them the world is larger than their backyard.
And this one is hard: teach them, simultaneously, that while they may be the center of your world, they are not the center of the entire world.
A lot of us are learning hard lessons right now. Let’s make sure our kids are prepared for the world we’ve shaped. We’re going to need them to help us fix it.