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Dear Son, Fear and Hope


--26 Weeks Old (Before Birth) --

Dear Son, 

I write this notice in the midst of a thoughtful conundrum. See, this weekend, your mom and I watched thousands of people rally in Washington D.C. and around the world against gun violence and the fight for a change in how guns affect our lives in this country. 

I know, you're only 26 weeks into existence, and here I am punching the keys on my laptop to you about something you probably won't understand until ten years from now. But I have to - the way I've always looked at the world has always been different, and of course, with you on the way - that lens is shifting again. 

I can't help but think of the world your mother and I are bringing you into. The world can often be so beautiful as we both know it to be from our travels, and the people we've met abroad, and of course, the various cultures and ethnicities we continue to want to throw ourselves into here in New York City. Yet, it can be a vile, disgusting, and disappointing place. Especially, when us, the people, are responsible for it. 

But, yeeaaaaaah...this world does play on my mind. And it's the world you'll be calling home in just a few months. 

But after this weekend, I find myself grappling with the fear and hope of your future, and what this world will be like around you. 

Why?

Well, I think of your grandparents (my mother and father), who both came here on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, and the discrimination they endured as immigrants. We'll soon talk about that down the road. 

And of course, there are my experiences of growing up poor, from two immigrant parents, and of course, some of the things I've seen regarding inequality, gun violence, and more. Looking forward to that as well.

And really, how, - well, at least from my side of the family for which I can speak for - has endured life from this social justice lens because of experience.  

I'm afraid, because I don't want that life for you. I don't want the discrimination experience, the stereotype anxiety, the thought of losing friends or people you know to gun violence, or, to live in a world where things such as "active shooter" drills are as common as 4th period lunch. And they already are...

I also don't want that life for myself and your mom, knowing these things are real in our world now - constantly in worry, forever in fear, hoping for your safety. 

But I do find solace in what I saw today. That this generation, and the generations to come are in fact aware and mobilized to and for the lives of the many throughout this country. That very belief in democracy, in protest, in change, and overall, in the power of standing up for what you believe in. 

I can't even begin to imagine what the history books will say about this time when you are in fact reading this, but I do hope for a better world for you - for us. Not one of gun violence, bigotry, and hate. 

I fear for your future, but in many ways, I hope you embrace it, and stand not for what is simply comfortable for you in privilege, but for what you believe is overwhelmingly the right thing. 

In all of the fear we begin to prepare ourselves for, I know your mom and I can find hope in that.

Sincerely,

Your ready-to-internalize-and-hide-more-worries Dad

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