As the news of the Orlando shooting starting streaming in from all sources, I found myself trying to fake a smile to my little and the tower of blocks he had built. “Great job, buddy!” as I choked back tears mourning the loss of my soul family. That night, I rocked him before bed and listened to his concerns about the dark and whatever phobias had crept in during that moment. I hummed a little song for him, and also for me, because I couldn’t trust my voice and words to be strong enough.
I thought about all the fear ahead for him. When he finds out that he is targeted for the color of his skin. When he finds out that his moms are targeted for the person that they love. When he finds out that people would rather keep their rights to their guns and their hobby of shooting or hunting or [often false perception of] protection than see him alive, or his moms, or any of his school friends. When he finds out it only takes 38 minutes to walk out of a gun shop with an AR-15.
I was overcome with despair realizing that although a parent can never protect their child from all harms, I found myself realizing just how dangerous this country has become, and even more so for minorities and vulnerable populations. I realized that besides a little vote of my own–there is absolutely nothing I can do.
My voice trailing off as he fell asleep in my arms, I found myself hoping that I would get to see him happy in a career, married one day and maybe have kids of his own.
Then I stopped short when I realized I actually just hope to see him through his childhood.
Or even through tomorrow.