A Letter to My Son Regarding His Life, Which Matters.

July 10, 2016

Dear Son,

It seems every waking moment this past week I’ve been consumed (more than usual) by my worry and anxiety with regard for your well being.
This week has been hard. I’ve been rummaging through the rubble of a nation’s pain, on top of your father’s and mine. I’ve been trying to take it all in; tv, online, private talks, public protest, aching souls.
I guess if I had to sum it up, it’d be all about, well, you. My pain is about your dad and you. My pain is about love and the lifetime of struggle it took to get you, and the possibility of losing you in tragedy.
I sit in a darkened room at night, haunted and horrified by the acts of the living and the lasting images of the dead. I worry constantly. I sleep restlessly and lie awake to listen to you breathe, hop down from my bed to periodically peak over your crib and see your rib cage rise and fall at least three rhythms before I feel assured again.
Your father and I fuss over you; when you play, when you eat, when you trip over your feet and fall. These are the everyday things for all parents. Now they are coupled with terrorizing fear for your future. I find I have not been merely fretting. I am holding you close at some point each day and fearful tears roll down my face and fall into your fluffy mass of curls on your head.
I wish I had the powers, the super intelligence, the money, the prestige, the ability to still skate professionally even; anything to make you feel more safe, more secure, like something or someone out in the world was devoted to you, your well being and your joy in life as something that matters.
Indeed. I’ve agonized over all these things more than ever this past week.
Today I saw two Black teenage boys fist fighting on the street in a white area. Immediately, my heart raced and I thought of you. I was so angry. I was angry and fearful and I didn’t want the police to be called, because I know firsthand that they are not good at calming people down. I feel they do the opposite even in little issues like a moving violation for a white grown up. So I really didn’t want them to get called for these boys.

But I was also angry because I was scared for you, how you might choose to act or not act later in life, and I won’t be around to hide you, to protect you, to shelter you, to calm you down before you do something that may or may not cost you your life.
I don’t know how to protect you, not that I ever truly did.

Does my fear ricochet off your heart, are you resilient son … I pray you stronger than me.
I am weary. With what I have left, I write a narrative for you.
I love you sweet boy.