The Ridiculous Responsibility of Raising and Teaching a Child

Every morning I wake my two boys up with the words, "Time to get up and change the world!" And I mean it. I BELIEVE it. That they can and that they should. Never in my life more than today.

The first thing I did when I woke up is Google "how to talk to your kids about a trump presidency." Sadly there were already several articles. None that I felt addressed the concerns and fears and confusion that my own children would experience. They are not Muslim, or black, or Mexican, or even women. But they are children who feel passionately for these populations.

Contrary to what some might think, I haven't spoken considerably to my children about Trump. I did voice my dislike for him and for what he stands for, but much of what they learned about him, his plans, his words, was learned through other people around them and, for Aiden, his own reading of articles and such. They came to many of their own conclusions about how they felt based on his views that opposed their own.

I did realize that I had handled some parts very poorly as a mother. Like making jokes about moving if Trump became president when after learning of his victory the first thing Embry asked me was, "are we moving?" So I had to apologize to them for any part I had in making them feel that a Trump presidency would be an unsafe place for them. I assured them that they were indeed safe and that their little world wasn't in jeopardy. Aiden had woken up several times throughout the night, checking his tablet for results, distressed at what he saw. Coming to me and saying, "Mom! He's winning! What will we do if Trump wins?!"

Then this morning ..."But what about all those people that he will rip away from their families?!" Aiden asked.

"Is he going to build a wall?!" Embry said.

Not everything that he said he wants to do will he be able to do, I assured them. The best thing we can do now is do everything we can to make this a world where it's difficult for him to achieve those things. I told them that Trump being elected meant that we live in a country that is filled with fear. And that the very best thing to drive out fear was love.

I told those boys that now more than ever they need to be world changers! That it is our duty to go out and fight for everything we believe is right, to spread love and empathy. Then I spoke to them about what it means for them to be white, middle class, Christian, male citizens of America. I explained to them that being born in that demographic automatically placed them in a place of power. That there will be times in their lives, even now, but more as they grow older that other people will listen to, respect, follow and even believe them more than those of color, other religions, in poverty, and of the female gender — simply because of something they were born with.

We talked about how those populations might be feared or mistreated. I reiterated my constant exhortations to them about seeing and treating ALL people as equal, valuable, and capable as they are. I encouraged them to use this privilege to make this world a safer place for all people. And that the only way to do that was through love. I reminded them that LOVE is more powerful than anything else. More powerful than hate, fear, greed, pride, racism, sexism. THE most powerful.

Embry said "you know they always say that in movies but I didn't know it was really true." I chuckled as I explained that I wasn't talking about two people falling in love in a movie and kissing. "Ewwwww." We talked about agape love. Patient, kind, forgiving, sacrificial love. I told them that now is the time for them to be WARRIORS! To go out into the world and fight so hard for love!

Then I walked those two innocent boys up to the doors of their school. I hugged them tight and urged them to find ways today to be examples of that love.

And then I walked back to my car and I cried. I cried that they live in this kind of world. I cried for all the moms and dads having much more difficult conversations with their children this morning. I cried at the ridiculous responsibility of raising and teaching a child. And then I cried at the awesome opportunity.

Because the best thing that I have to give right now, the very best contribution I have in this war is to raise two white boys to be different.

#changetheworld #loveconquersall #Istillbelieve