Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nothing has changed

Dear Jacob,

Everyone is writing letters post-election, so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon, or maybe I just like bands, or doing what everyone else is doing, who knows-but I am your mother so you will read this. 

First off and most importantly, nothing changes. In this house, we teach love, patience, and respect.  We practice it some of the time too. ;) In all seriousness, though, what happened last week, does not change this.  This is who we are, who we have always been. We must match our actions with our words and I know it starts with your father and me. 

Let me tell you what I mean by that.  You know that look your dad gives you when you so much as look at me sideways or worse, talk sarcastically or negatively to me?  Yeah, you know. That doesn't change.  Your father and I have built a relationship and family based on mutual respect, love, and trust and I understand you may question if our high regard for one another is the norm, considering the President-elect's behavior towards women, but it is real and it started when we took our vows. It strengthened when we were blessed with you, and when Johnny and Elizabeth arrived in all of their wonderfulness, it became unbreakable.  He loves me and respects me (and I him) and I hope and pray he has taught you to do the same-not just me, but your grandmothers, your aunts, your cousins, future girlfriends-all women. So, nothing changes.

On that note, and this is going to be awkward, when you are in the inevitable situation of being with a girl and she shows any sign of fear, second-guessing, back tracking, you back off. You must be the guy who doesn't push, doesn't take advantage, doesn't take what isn't his.  Please, be the man who knows better and does better. Please, be like your father. 

I know what guys and girls talk about. I am not na├»ve.  I, myself, have engaged in conversations and language of which I am not proud. Words matter, and I am sorry.

And while we are on the subject of women, YES, I emphatically admit I wanted a female President. But not any female. I wanted her. Why? Because while I went about living my life, she fought tirelessly for women, families, children with disabilities, equal pay, equal rights.....oh my. I just expected she'd keep fighting that fight. I feel overwhelmed by the prospect that now I am alone in that fight. I understand rationally, that this is not true, but it doesn't make me feel less afraid.
We will continue to be a family that loves and respects everyone, no matter if they are different than we. 
Nothing changes. 

As you know, I never expected the outcome of the election or I would've talked to you more about all of the awfulness (and my opinion about it) on both sides.  I was going to be as one blogger put it, "a gracious winner".  But, that doesn't matter because nothing changes. We still love and respect people that voted differently than we did. They are our friends and our family. Their perspective and their experiences are different, but no less important. To say otherwise would be hypocritical. (Deep sigh) 

Oh, and please grow up to be the man that your sister sees when she looks at you. She loves without condition. You light up her world. I hope that never changes.

Also, continue to surround yourself with young men and women that treat people with kindness first and that align with your values. I know it can sometimes be embarrassing when your brother and/or sister do or act in certain ways, your friends have always been good to them. That is important and I pray it never changes. 

Lastly, my dear pasty, intelligent, athletic, handsome son-you have a great responsibility. Your were born with more advantages than most people, this holds a great responsibility for you. I know you're just a boy and that might not seem fair, but I've never told you that life is fair. Of course, you will make mistakes and you will say and do things that you regret, I hope that you'll grow from those things and become better.  Never forget who you are.

So, you see, nothing has changed. 

Yet, everything has. 

I love you, 

Mom