The older I get, the more I find myself thinking about the elusive future. Where might I be in 10 years, or 20? Life moves fast, and before we know it, 10 or 20 years down the line will be our now, and a lot of things will have changed. What will the world be like? I guess, that’s up to us.
What we do know is that the world will be filled with a lot of new babies by then – and some of them might even be ours.
There are a lot of issues in the world, and hopefully as time goes on these issues will grow and change. Each generation handles the world differently, and eventually, the world will be filled with a generation of people that we raised. That’s incredible to think about, isn’t it?
And also terrifying, that us, with our current irresponsibility and binge drinking problems, will eventually be responsible for shaping childhoods.
Personally, I had a wonderful childhood. My parents are good people, and they did a damn good job at raising kids (if I do say so myself). There’s a lot of crap in the world, and a lot of people that don’t treat the world as nicely as they should. Kids are future adults – what do we want the next generation to look like?
Raising other human beings is a huge responsibility, and if it eventually becomes mine, there are a few things I absolutely want for them.
Listen up, future little half me’s. I love you already, and here’s what I know I will strive to give you:
1. You will laugh.
As you grow up, there will be people who will tell you that you have to take everything seriously. The kids in your class might think it’s cool to scoff instead of smile. In school and with your friends, it’s ok if sometimes you don’t laugh, and your smile has trouble finding it’s way to your face. Sometimes fitting in seems like the most important thing, and I will never fault you for that.
At home though, you will laugh. I already went through the trying to be cool phase, and I’m over it. You will never catch me trying to be cool. If you ever do think I’m cool (and these moments will be rare, I’m sure), it will be completely natural. More often than not though, I will be a huge dork. I will chase you around, I will talk in funny voices, and I will embarrass you.
I will laugh, and therefore you will laugh, because I have found that laugher is contagious, and I will make sure that you catch it from me, often and always. Life’s too short to take things so seriously (even parenting).
2. You will never be sheltered.
Don’t get me wrong, babies. I will protect you. My protective instincts will always be fierce, and if anyone tries to mess with you, I swear to God, I will chase them down and kick them in the face with my heeled boots. Now that’s love. However, there’s a lot of world to see, and a lot of world to know, and to the best of my ability, I will show it all to you. Yes, the world can be a dangerous place, but my dear, I will not keep you cooped up just because of a few might be’s. You will hold my hand when we cross the street, as we walk by homeless individuals and I teach you that it’s polite to smile and say hi to everyone.
I will not go out of my way to avoid having tough conversations with you. You want to know why there’s a war going on? Let’s figure it out together. You want to know where babies come from? We can have the sex talk as early as we need to. You want to know what’s going on in the world? You have a right to, and I will never deprive you of knowing.
If we can afford it, then we will travel all over the world, and if we can’t, you will still meet as many different people from as many different cultures as possible. The world is beautiful, and I will never deprive you of it’s beauty.
You want to leave me to travel the world someday? Ok. Be smart, take a jacket, and I love you.
3. You might think you hate me sometimes, and that’s ok.
In fact, you will probably think you hate me a lot of the time. When parents make not so fun decisions, kids choose to hate them for it, even if they don’t really mean it. Even if they don’t really even know what the word hate means. I will teach you what hatred actually is, and why you really only dislike me on occasion.
When you learn what hatred really is, what it causes human beings to do to other human beings, I hope it will drive you to stop using the word so much. I hope it will teach you to never resort to hatred.
You will dislike me sometimes because I will make you do things you don’t want to do, like learn about hatred. There are times when you won’t want to care about the world. You’ll want to just play your video games and not have to think about anything. That’s ok too. But sometimes I will challenge you to think, and sometimes you will dislike me for it.
Sometimes you won’t.
4. You will know religion, but also have a choice.
Religion seems like it might be one of the harder parts of parenting. For some parents, there is no question. They have their religion or their beliefs, and that’s what their kids have too. No exceptions, no room for compromise. I think it’s important for kids to know what their parents believe, what everyone else believes, and that they will always, always have a choice. Belief is what’s important to me, and that is what will be important to you, babies. You will know what I believe, and when you’re younger you’ll probably believe that too simply because I do, and you trust me. When you get older though, you will learn to question everything, including what I believe, and that’s good. You should learn everything you can surrounding a belief so you can make the best choice for you.
What’s important to me is that you believe in something. Anything. Even if you believe there isn’t any one thing to believe in. Even if it means you believe in a lot of different things. Believing and trusting in something can help guide you when you are struggling to believe in yourself.
On a side note, I will strive for you to believe in Santa Claus for as long as possible. Seeing isn’t believing – believing is seeing.
5. You will be comfortable, but will still know struggle.
I do not know how much money I will make in this life. I’m a writer, so it’s up in the air. I’ll either end up with a theme park or sit in front of my computer and bang my head a lot. Maybe both. If I am ever in a position where I have more money to my name that I know what to do with, then I will spend so much of it on you, my little mini half me’s. I will make sure you have everything you need. Sometimes, I will give you things you don’t need, too. I will treat you.
However, I will never spoil you. You will know struggle.
You will not get everything you want in life. Not from me. Some things, you will have to work for yourself. Some things you will have to earn. A lot of things you will earn in my eyes just because I love you. I never want you to be spoiled though. I never want you to think that you are entitled to anything. You want extra spending money, 17-year-old child? Better get a job. When you’re old enough to work, then you will, because having to work for what you want is good for you. Getting everything you want always is not.
If one day we all woke up and the money was all gone, I would want to know that you’d be ok. That if you were old enough, you’d be able to take care of yourself and figure it out. I never want to spoil you to the point where you are dependent, and not resourceful. If we have a lot of money, that’s fabulous, but you will still be humble, because that is so, so important. You will not be spoiled, because we are better than that.
6. You will know equality.
Babies, there are so many people in the world. More than you could ever comprehend. You will not meet them all in your lifetime, but you’ll meet a lot. The most important thing for you to know about all of these people is that they are just like you. None of the people in the world or better or worse than you. We are all equal.
Black, brown, blue, rainbow, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, wizard, muggle. Everyone is important, and everyone is equal. Whether I have you myself or adopt you, whether your siblings are had by me or adopted, you will all be equal.
It’s just a fact. We’re all equals and we should love each other. Simple as that. No one is better than anyone else – everyone is beautiful. You will know that, every day.
7. You will know passion.
There are some parents who make their kids go through childhood trying every activity known to man. They want their kids to be good at everything, or just something, and they force them to participate – sometimes until the kids end up resenting said activities. Trying a bajillion things is a great way to find a passion – but passion cannot be forced.
I will strongly suggest that you try anything and everything that you are even remotely interested in. I will encourage you to give something a fair try before you quit it. I will talk to you about all of the things there are to be passionate about in the world, so that you will always know all of your options.
Most of all, I will follow my passions with everything that I am, so that you can see how it’s done. You will have a mother who lives for a reason, and loves every moment of it.
If you’re not good at something that you desperately want to be, then
1. Never give up, and 2. I’m sorry, I’m probably not good at it either, and I gave you the gene. My bad, love you.
8. You will never have fear because of ignorance.
We are all different. Equal, but different. Differences make the world go round, and I wish everyone saw it that way. You will see it that way, babies. I promise. A lot of people fear what they do not understand. Ignorance is sometimes bliss, but it’s not an excuse.
My youngest brother is severely autistic. He can’t talk, and he shouts a lot. To younger kids, he is probably kind of scary. You will never be scared of him, because you will know him. You will know that he loves just like you do, and you will not be afraid.
Sometimes being afraid is good – some things are worth being afraid of. Usually though, things scare us because we don’t know enough about them. The more you know, the less you fear.
I will teach you about all kinds of people, so that you are never afraid of anyone. You will always have an open mind, and most importantly, an open heart.
9. You will know love. I will love you, babies.
The second you come into this world, I will whisper to you, “You are so loved.” I will tell you this everyday.
Love, love is the most important thing.