A Letter to My Child

father
Image courtesy of singleblackmale.org

Dear [insert name here],

You may or may not know me. I hope that you do. I hope that you want to.

You will likely be born into this world having black lineage. I hope that you can appreciate your heritage, understand the weight that it carries in our imperfect society, and strive to be the best person you can be.

I want to be instrumental in your journey from infant to adulthood. I hope to be able to watch you grow, to see you blossom from the tiny collection of cells that begat your life to the upstanding adult that I know you can be.

I hope that the world you live in will be kinder and more inclusive for minorities. I hope that you will not be a victim of police brutality for any actions that you undertake–no matter how lawful or unlawful they are.

I want to protect you from the negative aspects of the world, though I know that my efforts will eventually be fruitless. Even then, I want to be your champion, your shield, your first line of defense for when the world tries to beat you down.

I never want to see you hurt, feel sad, express anger or be weary due to the actions of others. I know this is unrealistic, but my desire for you to always be happy.

I hope that you will not be the victim of domestic violence, nor do I want you to be a perpetrator of it.

Even when you stumble, I hope that you know that I will be in your corner. I want you to know that to err is human, and that you are not a bad person for making mistakes.

I hope that you can exhibit empathy for other people. It is all too easy to be concerned about the minutiae of daily life, but others feel the same emotions, carry the same burdens, and have the same gifts to the world as you do. Recognizing these traits in your fellow man is something I hope you can carry with you throughout life.

I hope you can forgive me for the mistakes I’ll make when raising you. Parenting is not a perfect science, but all of my actions will be for your welfare.

I hope to be a better father to you than my father was for me. We aim to learn from our past transgressions and do better for our offspring. I want you to have a father figure that you can learn from, confide in, and be proud of.

I want for you to find a partner that will love and care for and about you with all of their heart. I hope that I can provide a good example of the unconditional love that you will demand from anyone that is lucky to be your mate.

I know that I will be proud of you in whatever you pursue, whatever excites you, what stimulates your curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

And more than anything else, I hope you know how much I have and will always love you. Because you will be a recipient of love, no matter how you came into this world. You have been wanted for so long, and the greatest joy in my life will be for you to exist.

 

Love,

Your father

 

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