A BIRTHDAY WISH FOR MY SON

My son is two now.

Two years I've spent loving him, holding him, wishing so many good things for him.

Some mothers wish the world for their babies, but the world that we live in was, quite literally, made for my son. Being white and male alone will give him advantages many will never have.

If I could wish one thing for my son, it wouldn’t be the world.

If I could wish one thing for him, it would be that he would know that this world is not his for the taking. He isn't entitled to anything, or anyone, ever.

I wish for him to recognize the importance of working hard and being honest.

I wish for him to recognize that an archaic system exists that stands to benefit him based on mere circumstances he does not control, but that does not make him a bad person. It does not make him responsible for the past wrongdoings of others long before him, but he does have a responsibility as to how he uses this advantage.

I wish for him to desire to use his privilege for good and to benefit others.

I wish for him to have the discernment of when to step up, when to step back, and when to step down.

I wish for him to stay gentle, loving, and attentive to others, and to know that those traits are not in opposition to being male. 

I wish for him to embrace the title of feminist, but even moreso, embrace the qualities, attributes, and vision that go with it.

I wish for him to understand that strength is not the absence of weakness, but in knowing your weaknesses and persevering anyway, working to overcome them. I want him to know that strength is not measured by the loud or grandiose, and that it's okay to be quiet.

I want him to know it's okay to not get the last word in. It's okay to not be right.

I wish for him to know that good will ultimately triumph over evil. I want him to have the hope that comes with knowing this. I want him to channel that hope into action and desire to bring about good himself.

I wish for him to be true to himself, always.

And if I could wish one thing for myself, I would wish that I can do enough to teach him all that he needs to know.

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