A wish for Will
In the last month, our world has suffered.
As a human race, we’ve seen hate and violence. Fear and indifference. I have little interest in watching terrorist plots or mass shootings play out on round-the-clock TV media coverage. Or reading racist, antagonistic comment threads on social media. I really used to enjoy my time on Facebook. And boy, have I spent some time on it over the years.
Now it seems people just want to use social media to fight.
I do my best to spread a little cheer on my social media pages. I still crack the jokes even though motherhood trumps stand-up for me these days. Humor has always been my go-to coping mechanism. Thank goodness for the satire on The Onion and “The Daily Show.” Especially regarding anything to do with Trump.
He’s a punch line in himself.
I know any photo I share of Will on Facebook or Instagram seems to bring out the happiness in people. There’s a lot of the opposite going on right now, but babies always seem to make things better.
They are tiny magical beings like that.
Our children provide that light and sense of hope we need in life. They are our future. They will someday make decisions for us. Their actions could change the world. Little honest blank slates that come out into the world not judging others. They are filled with love for the mothers and fathers, and all the friends and family that make up their support system.
As adults, it’s our job to keep them safe.
As a new parent, that responsibility weighs heavy on my mind when I see hate and violence. Or fear and indifference in the world. If I could have a Christmas wish come true, it would be that Will grows up without hearing about mass shootings on the news . Or seeing people use violence to serve their own agendas. Statistics and data shows that’s highly unlikely.
And I’m very much a just-the-facts-ma’am kind of girl.
The facts can bring me down, but I know I need to remain positive. I can only hope that as Americans, we start to show some resolve. Meet in the middle. Create solutions instead of division just because we refuse to compromise. For Will’s sake.
And for all the children of the world.
Maybe the holidays will help us come together. Maybe we’ll start to think more about others and less about ourselves. I know that sounds simple, and human nature sometimes leans toward the selfish side. If I still made a list for Santa, this wish would be on it. I’d also wish that poverty and hunger didn’t exist. And all the money spent on presidential campaigns could be used for the betterment of society instead of continually creating contention in our country. Or people would stop being so darn hateful.
I’m really wishing now.
What I’ve mostly learned in motherhood — especially in having Will early and the weeks we spent in the NICU — is it never hurts to wish. Or hope. Even pray. I believe putting positive affirmations out into the universe can make a difference.
I know I’m a dreamer, and that’s OK.
Why not try? What does it hurt? If life isn’t making much sense, as it has for me in the last month with all that’s going on around us, I just take a second to think. I visualize what I can do to make a better world for Will. Teach him to love others no matter the color of their skin or what religion they follow. Help create opportunities for him to learn, flourish and succeed. Project more humor and less negativity into his life. Make sure he believes in Santa as long as he can. That dreams and wishes can come true. Especially at Christmas.
Even all year long.
April E. Clark wants to give more and expect less this holiday season. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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Chef Hunter Hale went into business with his parents to bring an American bistro to Carbondale.