Dear Hazel, Hudson, Sage and my niece or nephew that my sister is still growing right now. (Hurry up, January!),
Tuesday is a giant day for our country. It is going to make history. You are going to learn about this some day in school. There are actually a ton of things going on right now that you are going to learn about in school. That being said, there are some things that I want to say now while I am feeling them. There are things I want you to know, things you need to know.
-You live in a place where it is OK to believe in whatever you want to believe. This means religion, politics and your values. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a place where they can freely believe and speak about whatever they choose. Try not to take that for granted and try your hardest to always respect that, while you can believe in whatever you want, others can believe in what they want as well. You need to try to not judge. It is really hard sometimes. Trust your aunt on this one.
-Don’t ever promote hate. It truly brings nothing to world.
-No matter who wins this election there are some core values that I want you to understand.
Hazel, never let any man talk disrespectfully to you. If he is a person of power, that doesn’t make it OK for him to speak to you or about you like you are a product or that you are less valued because you are a woman. Your worth is not and will never be determined by your looks and any man who talks like that or acts like that doesn’t deserve to breathe the air around you.
Hudson and Sage, always speak about women like they are your moms, Emma, Gaga, Mimi, aunts or Hazel. Locker room talk is a thing that is now being used as an excuse for disgusting behavior. Be above that. Your dads, grandpas and uncles are gentlemen. They are perfect examples of what men should be. If you get confused, you don’t need to go outside our circle for greatness. (Jessica told me that once and it always stayed with me.)
-If and when you mess up (we all do) big or small-- whether in school, sports, band practice, jobs, your relationships, if you plagiarize Michelle Obama’s speech, if you delete 30,000 emails in order to hide something or if you are talking like an idiot and are being recorded without knowing-- APOLOGIZE. Apologize and mean it. Speak genuinely and introspectively. People appreciate someone who messes up and is able to own up to that mistake. Deflecting never works.
-All people are created equal. They deserve to have the same rights that you were lucky enough to be born with. This means men and women of all races. Because someone may not look like you or have a different skin color or dress differently doesn’t mean anything. This also means every person has the same rights as you regardless of who they love. Love is love. Some guys love other guys. Some girls love other girls. That’s OK. Do not ever let anyone ever tell you any different.
-One huge issue going on in our world right now is violence against black lives and violence against police. It is scary and dangerous at times. I hope this is resolved and that our world is a happier place when you are old enough to understand. But just in case…
There are struggles and problems you will never understand first hand because you will be lucky enough to never experience them. Address those issues with compassion. Ask questions and listen to what people have to say about them. Speak kindly and thoughtfully when addressing the subject. Do not take the route of staying naive because it may make you uncomfortable. Always be educated and know what is happening and always understand that violence is never OK. Discrimination is never OK. Generalizing is never OK. Every single life matters.
-Do not let the world leave you a cynic. Sometimes things seem bleak but for every scary or hopeless story, there are so many happy stories-- stories of good. Never stop searching for those. You can find them on Listen, Lucy.
-Oh, and of course a woman can be President. Women are bad asses.
-Also, I love you more than you will ever understand. I will always be here for you in times that you are scared or nervous or stressed or if you just want to play outside. I’m your girl.
-You bring more joy and light and laughter into our family’s lives than could ever be put into words. You are loved more than you could ever know. You are the three, almost four, luckiest kids in the world. I hope you always feel that way.
You are going to amazing things in this world. I can feel it.