My dear girl and boy,
I feel that some sort of explanation is in order, if we live through this. I don’t know where to start because the beginning is something like the beginning of time, and that’s not something I’m able to speak about.
Some would say it goes back to the fall from grace, the expulsion from Eden.
But I don’t believe we fell from grace or that we were kicked out of paradise. I believe that’s a story we tell ourselves so that we can abdicate the creation of our reality.
In this country – in this year (2018) – we are still legally allowed to be free from religious persecution, by which I mean free from persecution by religious zealots. There are plenty of them, all around.
But dangerous things are afoot – and though they always have been and are, right now the dangerous are invited to banquets in places of honor and there are screens everywhere announcing it all.
In this country – in this year (2018) – we aren’t yet shot for not clapping loudly and fervently enough for our Supreme Leader. But we are shot for no reason.
Today, my girl, you are 6 and in the first grade. Twenty first-graders were murdered in their school almost exactly 5 years ago, and our lawmakers have done exactly nothing to make it harder for people to get their sweaty, ragey hands on guns. So there have been more mass, public murders. In a nightclub, on a college campus, in churches, at a concert…
And it’s no longer even shocking. Not the continued mass murders, not the weapons, not the congressional inaction.
The other morning your daddy said to me, “There was another shooting. In California.” I snapped my head up to look at him. “But only four people died,” he added.
And then we stared at each other in disgust. Only four people. That’s how we comfort ourselves.
You, my boy, are still in diapers. And, my loves, I wish I could somehow account for the world you are inheriting, or that one day it will all make sense… but I cannot.
I hope that, overall, you get to have lives that you’re glad to have and that your deaths are gentle. But I don’t get to choose any of that for you. So I want you to know that I could never, after years of writing, editing, and refining, explain to you how much I love you.