To The Girl,
I’m reading a book. Daddy bought it for me. It’s called Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times. It’s a hard book to read because it makes me realize how much I want to tell you. You won’t understand most of what I want to tell you because you are four. And you shouldn’t have to understand these things just now. But, the world is a different place than when you were born. I fear it will only get worse, and therefore, I have to tell you a few things.
First, remember to be brave. Being brave is one of the hardest things to do. Bravery doesn’t mean looking for danger, but rather being strong in the face of adversity. There will be times when you must be brave for yourself. Maybe you will have to stand up to an authority figure because they are in the wrong, perhaps you will have to go against what your friends want to do because in your heart you know it is not a good choice, or maybe you will have to leave a situation because it is not healthy for you. Whatever it may be, remember to be brave for yourself. There is only one you and you deserve it.
Be brave for those you know. Our country is in a difficult time right now. There is a lot of fear and anger about people who are different. Daddy and I chose to live here so that you would know that there are different people in our town and they all have a right to be here. Unfortunately, some of the people in our country are trying to make things hard for people who look and act different than us. They are doing this because they are scared and because they don’t understand other people. It is important for you to be brave and stand up for people who are being bothered.
Throw yourself into your passions. I see your enthusiasm for learning emerging. I can name your interests on one hand - Legos, My Little Pony, Frozen, books. Whatever you are interested in, be ALL interested in it. Don’t worry about whether your friends like it or not. If it brings you joy, that is the important thing. Put your whole self into whatever your interests may be. They may change over time, but don’t be afraid to pursue.
You will fail. It’s ok. Sometimes you will only fail a little; you might forget your lunch one day at home. Someday, you will fail big; maybe you will break someone’s trust, or worse, their heart. It hurts to fail. You might want to cry, that’s ok. You might need a hug, that’s ok too. But, it’s not ok to give up. When we fail (even Mommy and Daddy fail too), we get back up and try again. Sometimes, we just have to fix it and start over. Sometimes, we have to apologize and hope we are forgiven. But, whether big or small, we brush ourselves off, learn from our mistakes, and move forward.
There is so much more, my love.
Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times by Carolina De Robertis