A Story for the Day After: A Letter to My Son


Dearest Felix,

You are the joy of our lives. You are the reason I hope for peace and justice in the world.

You are the reason I long for a country that values unity without requiring uniformity.

You are the reason I will fight for a culture where every child grows up believing they have inherent worth no matter how they worship, who they love, or what they look like.

I am writing to you on November 9, 2016. The election is over. But I do not want to write to you about the election. I cannot talk about it anymore. I cannot lose hours at home looking at the news or the Facebook rants or the political commentaries anymore.

Instead, I want to hold you tightly on that big white chair in the corner of your room. I want to read one of your favorite board books and watch you turn the pages.

Tonight, for the 200th time, let’s read The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.

We’ll practice the beautifully diverse chorus of animal voices together: “the sheep said ‘baa’, the cow said ‘moo’, ‘oink’ said the piggy, and ‘beep!’ said Blue.”

We’ll turn the pages in suspense to the moment when the big Dump Truck comes along- interrupting that diverse chorus of voices, slinging mud, and getting stuck.

But we’ll turn the page again, because that’s not the end of the story.

Together, we’ll remember that the Dump cried for help from the mud, and at first ‘nobody heard, or nobody cared.” The duck, the cow and the toad were still feeling bitter, burned, and bulldozed.

Together, we’ll turn yet another page- because it’s still not the end of the story.

We’ll read about how eventually everyone got in line to help, to make a way when there was no way. We’ll read to the end: when love wins and kindness overwhelms the Dump.

We love this story because even in the midst of mud bullies- the Little Blue Truck reminds us that we are all in this together. Even after Dump hurts those he passes on the streets and insults those who are smaller than him or different than him- we see that kindness and unity triumph.

We learn again that even small voices who speak differently and look differently and have experienced mud in their faces can take the high road and work together for the good.

We’ll read this story together tonight, my love. Because I don’t want to talk about the election.

Instead, I want to talk about the importance of you being a voice for good. I want to talk about you being an agent for change. I want to talk about you being a team player, a helper, a Blue Truck. I want to talk about you valuing the diverse voices you will hear in your life, the many different folks you will encounter on your path- and I want you to remember how to work with them and for them.

Sometimes, that means you are called to work with Dump so that none of us are stuck in the mud, and that is good work to do, my child.

I believe in you and the hopeful world you will help create. Even when Dumps come along- remember that we all belong to one another. We all deserve love-even those who bully or bulldoze. We all will eventually need to work together if any of us are going to get out of the mud.





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