You fit with me, legs wrapped around my waist, arms hugging my neck.
You fit here, where your warm breath finds a landing place on my collarbone, and my shoulder catches all your tears.
I shelter you, and I am your home, but I cannot shield you from all of the dark. And when the dark does slip in, when the world grows too confusing, I may not have all the answers, but I can offer you me.
When people close to you, or far away, are making hurtful choices, I am your place. I will listen, I will hurt, right alongside.
When the night to come scares you, I am where you can rest. Snuggled beneath a thick blanket, under the swirling night sky outside our window, I will stay with you.
When the day, too, brings its challenges, my arms are your umbrella as the rain pours down.
Let me protect you. Rather, let me comfort you when my best efforts go unmatched.
The world needs each of you right now. It craves your curiosity. It begs for your open heart. It demands your free spirit. We need you to make your place here.
But when it all seems too much and the hatred wins, as it will from time to time, I am here for your reprieve, crying, right alongside you.
Cry, because your head on my shoulder is my safe place too, my space to squeeze fiercely against the fears I have for you growing up in a world that I, as an adult, haven’t come close to comprehending. This place is painful, but we can, and ought to retreat when we need to catch our breath.
The dark slipped in this past week, and you were here for me. There was no making sense of it in a way you could understand, as there’s no understanding to be had. But I had you two. And your gift to me is your light and the possibility that this next generation can, and will, make it right.
This generation has to be better than the last.
I have to believe it, after a week like this, that your light can outshine the darkness. Please tell my aching heart it’s true.