Dearest Zora and Felix,
I just tucked you into bed after hours of rocking on our front porch chairs and singing 13 verses of “the wheels on the bus” at the dinner table. In our sweet little nest, it seemed like an ordinary evening.
Zora-you showed off your cooing and kicking on the baby gym.
Felix-you splashed in the tub and practiced counting to 14.
We shared a few family hugs at Felix’s request.
Then, as we turned out the lights, I sang our usual night night songs.
We honored all of our family traditions at home and it seemed like any ordinary Monday. But, my darlings, inside- my heart was aching.
Because last night, other families were trying to have an ordinary evening of singing songs together and sharing food at a country music concert – but a gunman opened fire and hundreds were wounded, dozens lost their lives.
It feels like the ordinary has become unsafe in this broken world.
How can I let you go to school tomorrow? How can I let you out of my sight?
How can I sleep knowing other mothers, just like me, lost their children last night?
How can I rest when it seems the news is always reminding me to be afraid, to shield you from the outside world, to keep you all to myself – which is the only way to be sure you will never see terror like our country saw last night in Las Vegas?
But then, I remember the wonder that lives in your eyes.
You both carry such courage and such hope in your bright faces. You long to learn and grow. You have an openness to the world.
My job as your mom is to foster that courage. Because you, my dears, will be the change I wish to see in the world.
I promise you I will do my part as you are growing up.
I will vote for smart gun laws and I will pray for peace that passes all understanding. I will teach you to be leaders and bridgebuilders.
I will cling tightly to the good in the world, and I will make sure you have eyes to see it too.
On a night like tonight, as our community grieves the violence and terror we saw in Las Vegas, you remind me to help. You remind me to advocate for change.
I wish I could take away the threats of the world. I wish I could stop these horrible events from happening. But even though I can’t wipe away this sorrow and tragedy, being your mom reminds me that I’m obligated to do something.
So tomorrow, we will all get up and go to work and to school.
We will all show kindness to our neighbors and compassion to those who are different than us.
We will show patience and understanding when conflict arises, and we will offer forgiveness and gentleness in the midst of frustration.
This is how we shine a light when the darkness comes. This is what we can do in our own little neighborhood. This is how we stop fear from winning.
Tomorrow, we begin again. One step at a time, one spark of goodness in the world that needs it so desperately.
May it begin with us,