To parents that feel similarly:
We simply don’t have the luxury of self-indulgence. We cannot turn to hopelessness, hate, victimization and blame. We have to make more of an effort than ever to understand why this has happened, to understand the disenfranchised. Not all of the people that voted for Trump are xenophobic racists. We cannot lump millions of people into one homogenous group. We cannot let certain groups and outliers blind us to a more nuanced reality. That said, I cannot imagine the fear, anxiety and vulnerability that the millions of undocumented families and American Muslims must be experiencing right now. But it is in the spirit of compassion and comprehension that I feel we must speak and listen. We have to process this as citizens and parents. We have to find ways to discuss this with our children that does not further polarize future generations.
I implore you to also think about how you will talk about this with your children. What will you focus on when you speak about Hillary and her campaign? Can you speak with your daughters about the hope that a woman can become president, that your daughter can become president? If you’re feeling disenfranchised and fed up with politics as usual, can you embrace the fact that there are many democrats that feel similarly? Can you focus, now that there is a Republican president, house and senate in hoping to use that power in a way that brings people together?
Trump praised Clinton and called for unity in his acceptance speech. We are so much more than democrats and republicans. I imagine most of us that have kids identify with our roles as parents first and foremost. We love our families. We love our kids. We want the best for them and for their futures. We really need to pause, as democrats, republicans and independents, to think about what that means in terms of how we speak, act and relate to each other.
Today is your 12th birthday. Your last year as a pre-teen. It’s also the first day with the new president-elect, Donald Trump.
But you represent the future and that fills me with hope, peace and pride. It’s not about what you do in your career, who you befriend, marry, or your interests. It’s about who you are as a person, the man you are growing into. Your heart, sensitivity, compassion, maturity, thoughtfulness, generosity, intelligence, curiosity, sense of self and love.
All of these qualities that I personally feel represent what is most valuable and precious about being human and also so critical with respect to the future of being a man in this world.
You’re such a beautiful soul. I couldn’t be more proud than I am to be your father. I respect you, like you, admire you and love you so deeply.
Happy birthday, my love.