Dear Little: Cards

Dear Little,

Today you learned how to play Go Fish. Before starting the game, we went over all the cards, and all the suits.

Your nickname is Ace, which proved a bit confusing when showing you the cards.

So naturally, you kept saying the Jack, Queen, King, and Aislyn of Diamonds.

Love,

Mom

Birds

Dear Little,

The following happened while making breakfast this morning:
You (with a snake sock puppet): “How do snakes have babies? Through their belly or through an egg?”

Me: “Their babies come out of eggs.”

You (as your sock puppet): “I’m waiting for the birds. The seagulls are bringing my eggs so they can hatch!”

Me: “Seagulls? Don’t you mean a stork? Did you hear the stork story at school?”

You: Blink. Blink. Blink.

Me: “Um, Ace, did  someone tell you the stork brought babies?”

You:”No, that’s silly. Everyone knows the seagulls bring babies. What’s a stork?”

Dear Little: Love Is… (Part 1)

Dear Little,

This is your dad, at bedtime, trying to get your glow-in-thw-dark shirt to charge so you would wear it to bed and go to sleep happy.

 I want you to think on this if you ever come to a point in your life where you doubt you father’s love. 
 I’d put up other photos, but I’m pretty sure your dad wiping your butt as a 3 month old would have a more embarrassing effect when you read this down the road rather than the sweet, “d’awwwwww” reaction I’m going for. 

Love,

Mom

…(and Dad)

 

Dear Little: Election

Hi, Bunny.

The country just elected an individual who wants to put a wall up across the United States southern border; tell individuals of specific religious backgrounds that they are not allowed in this country; has bragged openly about sexually assaulting women; wants to take away healthcare for millions of Americans; want our rights as women overturned; and wants to overturn the right to marry from millions of same-sex couples across this nation.

I’m sorry our country failed you, your friends and the world.

As terrified and saddened I am right now, I woke up and you hugged me. We said we loved each other. You had hot cocoa for breakfast. At the end of the day, whatever the election, your dad and I have a big job to do.

Our job is to teach you not to give into fear of other people from around this globalizing world.

Our job is to teach you how to think with data, facts, science and listening – even if it’s something that you don’t believe in, you need to listen and change your mind if the facts support it.

Our job is to support quality education across this country. Not just for you, but for classmates all across the United States.

Our job is to teach you to stand up for yourself, to stand up for others, and to do what’s right – not just for you, but for your neighbors.

All of your neighbors.

Our job is to continue the things you are learning in preschool: be kind to others, share, listen, participate and remember that when you’re scared, angry, upset, a tantrum won’t fix it. A break, solid plan, and supporting others who can use your help will.

Always look out for the little guy, and stand up to the bullies.

Always vote with these things in mind.
Always.
Vote.

img_20161108_100313899

As of this writing, we are in a country that the entire world looks to. We just gave in to fear and elected a populist who’s decisions will affect you and your children. We’re about to see how exactly this plays out. Today, we’ll hug. Today we’ll hold the hand of your Muslim, black, and Hispanic friends at school and let them know you love them. When you are a grown woman, you’ll see just how much this decision affects you personally.

Today, it’s important to remember the arc always bends towards justice but it sometimes gets stuck going backward because of fear.

I love you.

Today and every day.
-Mom

 

Dear Little: Lockdown

Dear Little,

You are only 4 years old.

Only. 4. Years. Old.

Your voice still has a Minnie-Mouse quality that only children (and reeeeeallllly talented voice actors) have.

Which is why, when I started out the back door on my way to work, you stopped me in my track with only 5 words.

“Mommy! We practiced lockdown today!”

Those words coming out of your mouth, with your stuffed up, excited, fast-paced, childlike cantor was jarring.

I’m conflicted, as I’m sure a lot of parents are.

I’m sending you to school to write your letter “s” facing the right way. I’m sending you to school so you can be around other kids from various cultures and backgrounds. I’m sending you to school so I can go back to work and get a little break. I’m sending you to school so you can be prepared live in this world.

And this is part of the drill now.

I’m comforted in a weird way that your teachers and your school are going to great lengths to practice keeping you and your tiny, tiny classmates safe in the event of something tragic and unimaginable happening.

Something the teachers at Newtown Elementary never had the opportunity to practice. And why would they have practiced lockdowns? They had no reason to think a lunatic with an assault weapon would come to their school and harm them.

But we do.

And that’s the conflict. I’m so angry. I’m angry that the NRA won’t take steps to insure your safety or the safety your classmates across the country.

I’m angry at our Senate and the House for refusing to do their jobs and keep you safe. Instead of hearing the words and stories of victims, including one if their own who was gunned down in a parking lot, they stand by the gun lobby because money keeps them in their seat. Every Congress person who had voted in opposition to common sense legislation had put their job before your safety and the safety of your classmates across the country.

I’m angry at a culture that caves to fear and clings to guns (or clings to fear of losing guns) instead of thinking about the implications of what that fear does to our nation’s preschool teachers.

I’m saddened to hear my kid knows two kinds of lockdown. (When there is someone inside the school, and someone outside the school).

I’m saddened that my 4 year old’s preschool teacher has to dedicate time to this, but I’m ever grateful she does.

I’m saddened that our police department has to dedicate time to making sure the kids and teachers are safe. I’m ever grateful they put their lives on the line every day but I so wish it didn’t have to be this way.

Today, dropping you off at school, it became really real. Our nation’s teachers are there, doing the best they can because they care. Our nation’s teachers are doing what they can to really prepare you and your classmates for the challenges ahead.

They are doing what our obstructed Congress refuses to do. They are taking responsibility and doing something. They are putting you first, even though I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a teacher in a room full of bright-eyed, inquisitive, enthusiastic preschoolers, knowing something you don’t yet know. This training is to save your lives.
They are preparing you to be safe.

I hope to god you never need this skill, but I’m glad your teachers are doing what they can. I’m glad the Somerville PD is taking the time to make sure you are safe, and they have a plan just in case.

I only wish our legislators will follow suit. For once in my lifetime, I wish they would take the burden off the teachers by listening to them, to victims, to the nation and put their pride and pocketbooks aside for doing something about gun control.

Because while they are sitting on Capitol Hill, not doing their jobs (Zika, Supreme Court Justice and guns), our nation’s preschool, elementary, middle, and high teachers are.

Today, kiddo, was hard. Today was real. Today, I’m sorry.

Today, you are still 4 years old.

I love you.

Mom