But the aspect I enjoy the most, and that will only get stronger and better as my child grows, is teaching him. It’s the clean slate; the blank canvas that a child is when they enter this world. Ready to be shaped and raised and taught.
I love that feeling of opportunity.
For now I teach my son the smaller things; why water turns to ice, how we know when Spring is coming. But as he grows I get to teach him the big things too. The important things. The issues that shape the world and hopefully shape the man he becomes.
It’s an unsettling time for life’s big questions. America, who’s sheer size and wealth dictates undeniable influence over the rest of the world, is experiencing some political turmoil. Whether you believe that Trump’s manifesto was genuine or not, there is no getting away from the fact that so many others agreed with his words and voted for him. A man has come into power who represents much of what many of us consider to be hate, on all levels, against all people except ones exactly like him.
Britain, as with most democratic nations, is divided by our politics. I fall on a side of the tracks that differs from most of my Facebook timeline and, you know what, that’s okay. But despite our ideals in this country it seems we are united by a fear of and dislike for Trump. Perhaps because, no matter which way you vote here, we at least know the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and ethnic minorities are protected. No senior politician of ours, on any side, is trying to make abortion or gay marriage illegal. And I am so incredibly thankful for that.
I consider my generation a crossover period. Our grandparents, and sometimes our parents, still held bigoted views and, of course, that influenced us to a certain extent. We have taught ourselves acceptance in many cases.
But our children get a different outlook. Our kids are the first generation for whom being gay or being black or being a woman can be utterly irrelevant. My son said to me just the other day that “women marry men and men marry men and women marry women and they all love each other, don’t they Mummy?” Same sex marriage is the norm to him. Everyone having different coloured skin in the norm.
And that is so beautiful to me. That is fresh and pure and filled with so much hope.
In the wake of Brexit and then Trump, social media filled up with people vilifying democracy, claiming it no longer works. But I completely disagree. Perhaps our voting systems are broken, yes, but this was actually a triumph for democracy. If nothing else, Trump’s election proves that the people do indeed have the power to make change and isn’t that the very definition?
Sadly, many of us don’t see this particular change as a good thing. But now we have opportunity. We have anger to turn into passion. And we have the beautiful, pure, clean slates of our children. Their innocent faces look to ours for guidance and I’m excited to guide. I’m excited to see what good my son, and his innately accepting peers, can bring to the planet.
There is still a lot of hate in our lives. But be hopeful. Use democracy. Play the clean slate trump card. Let’s be the light we want to see in the world, starting with our kids.