A letter to Jack

For lunch, I climbed into my son’s bed, turned on his kitty-cat night light and listened to the playlist I made for the day he was born. The lights were low, the fish tank glowing in the corner, trickling the water that helps him fall asleep. The cat wandered into every corner: his protector from spirits and spiders – the smallest of evils. And me – his protector from the largest: the very world I brought him into.
I’m terrified. I’m terrified it will break him or that it will break me. And how is it possible right now that those are my options? We are breaking ourselves. We are breaking our children and nothing is being done.
I saw light cracking under his bedroom door. He doesn’t need it yet, but I do. I hope he sees it. That he knows it’s there even when things are really fucking dark, that there is always love and the capacity to love. I’m going to help him lead with his heart, to always chose love even in the face of this world. We all have so much to be angry about, but if I can do this – raise a damn good man and set him free into the world – it’s a start.

So Jack: You, my son, are a man. In everything that means now and not in the past. You will be held accountable for your actions. You will not hide from your heart. You will cry. You will communicate. You will love. You will fall. You will get dumped. You will get picked up. You will be kind. You will not troll people on the internet {looks at any thread on twitter to find the most horrific human}. You will create. You will support. You will get angry and you will work that shit out with grace. Do not forget that I know your heart and the goodness that is in it. I saw it the day your were born and I see it every time you hug that mean old cat you somehow tamed. Be a human – it’s really complicated – but be human to other humans who are sad and scared and who hurt just like you. You will forget these things sometimes because (see previous statement) you are human, but apologize for your mistakes when you make them and love so fiercely that it splits your heart – how else can we open to the world? There is goodness. Swallow it whole. Have a feast with your neighbors even if you think you don’t like them, that’s what good beer is for. Please love. As best as you can. It’s what the world really needs right now. And if that makes you think of that cheese-ball song, good! Sing it loud! I love you, kid. I cannot wait to watch you grow into a man.

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