Today I’m letting her go.
Into a world that somehow full of more hate than I ever imagined.
These last few weeks have been so full of violence, pain, suffering. Man-made. Mother Nature. I’ve felt beaten and burdened.
But still I have to let her go.
And she’s going into the lion’s den for so many of us… School. A place where I can’t control who she’s speaking to. What their parents have told them. How they feel about children who are different.
As a woman. A tattooed woman. A Jewish tattooed woman. A Jewish tattooed woman who has a history of depression. A Jewish tattooed woman who has a history of depression who’s not a native to the area. Who is also somewhat alone in this lion’s den. I don’t know what these people will think of my child or her mother in their den. And yet I sent her in armed as best I can with kind words a beautiful soul with smile that can heal.
I don’t even know how we got here.
I’m sending her to kindergarten.
And she will form her own thoughts and beliefs, and surround herself with new friends and people with different ideas and different beliefs. And I won’t know if they love her or they hate her or what they see when they first look at her or what they hear when they first talk to her if they’re even listening to her at all.
And I can’t guide the words that she says or help her find the words that she doesn’t know, or express herself in frustrating times or calm her in sheer excitement. And yet I’m sending her to kindergarten with two teeth fallen from her head. Proof, she is old enough. She is ready and changing and excited for new phases- to struggle and soar.
My job is to love her.
Wholly. Completely. Without judgment or fear. To prepare her for the world… but how do I do that when I’m not prepared for the world? This world. This country is not what I was raised to believe it was. It’s more vile, more dangerous, and I no longer feel safe. As a tattooed Jewish woman with a history of depression parenting a child with a disability in a place I did not grow up in, I must raise her.
And so I arm her with kind words a beautiful soul a smile that heals and myself with an open heart, as an ally in progress, and a drive to heal, protect, and unite. To be an autonomous advocate.
Today I let her go to kindergarten, and I actually said a prayer that I get her back. Not just the her I sent into school, the one that’s innocent and loves everyone and laughs with reckless abandon. The child that I have raised to see difference, and love it, to not be embarrassed by it, to defend it. I pray I get her back. Everyday. Because the future, the children, lives that we used to hold sacred and dear, that we used to say we protected, those beliefs don’t seem to hold true so much these days. Our country has abandoned the injured, the different.
She is silly.
And passionately loves.