This morning we hiked out to Sunrise Point at Bryce Canyon to watched the sun find its way over the mountains. It’s hard to explain what I’m feeling in this moment, but it feels too important not to write it down.
I saw you today. I saw beyond the 11 year old boy I imagined you as, and saw you closer to as you see yourself, your world, and your challenges. I see the worries you carry. I see the world on your shoulders. Whether its a massing shooting lockdown drill at school or the threat of global climate change looming in the back of your mind, I see you carry burdens that are not yours to bear. Your generation has been presented with challenges that you didn’t create, and it’s inexcusable. You deserve better than this world.
I see you carry the weight of these challenges on your chest making it difficult for you to breathe. It breaks my heart. I wish I could remove this cup from you, but it’s not within my power. All I can do is carry these burdens with you. As your mother, I will not forsake you—just as my mother stayed with me. She could have left but she didn’t, and I will always remain a grateful recipient of her generosity to stay and carry burdens that were not hers to bear.
When I was young, my mother told me something that stayed with me even into adulthood. She told me, “As a parent, you just hope your kids turn out to be better than you. If each generation is a little better than the last, that’s how you know the world is on the right track.” She imparts sage wisdom every now and then, and this was one of those moments.
Every generation is born into a world with challenges to overcome. We didn’t invent slavery, but it’s our problem to fix. We didn’t invent poverty, but it’s our problem to fix. We didn’t invent elitism, but it’s our problem to fix. We didn’t invent cancer, but it’s our problem to fix. We didn’t invent death, but it’s our problem to fix. At first glance, these seem like insurmountable obstacles. Yet, when I sit here watching the sunrise with you, I feel hope. I feel an overwhelming and deeply spiritual sense of hope that each generation will continue to be better than their parents’. Even with all the burdens upon us, your presence in this mad but beautiful world makes me deliriously hopeful in a better tomorrow.
I know I haven’t been a perfect parent. I admit I’ve made too many errors to list and that doesn’t even include all the errors I’m unaware of. Some have been inexcusable. I ask for your forgiveness. You are free to doubt my skills as a parent and hold me accountable for my errors, but I hope that you never doubt my love for you, my loyalty to you, and my commitment to make this world a better place for you and with you. You deserve nothing less.
We all deserve nothing less than a glorified and exhaled world worthy of future generations that I can only describe as gods. In an eternal round, we come from gods, we birth gods, and are destined to become such if we so choose.
Sincerely, your imperfect but hopeful mother