With a bit of good fortune I should be seeing you in about 5 months time. I’m over the moon and terrified in equal measure. I have never changed a nappy and I’m turning 50 next year, but when I saw you move on the screen the emotions were unlike anything I have ever felt before; the tears were real and the fear palpable as your tiny beating heart took my breath away.
I’m sorry to say that we are bringing you into a world that I don’t much like. It scares me, it depresses me, it makes me want to hide somewhere, away from the madness of modern life. Despite all the effort and progress, hatred, mistrust, racism, misogyny and homophobia seems endless, instantly transmitted by eager fingers hitting the share button in glee or dismay. Millions are dying in wars across the globe, and the best the so-called leader of the free world can do is tweet his rage whilst hiding his pathetic narcissism behind lawsuits and payoffs. Don’t get me started on climate change, let alone terrorism and genocide.
It isn’t much better closer to home. We sell arms, we protect the rich, we destroy the environment and we justify it all in the name of economic growth. Not human growth, just economic growth, which the faithful think is the same. We are slaves to capitalism at the altar of ego, building a future on the very consumerism that is going to destroy everything that I think is good about the world; trees, polar bears, orangutans, dolphins, songbirds, orchids, butterflies & bees. (Not wasps though). We will be reading books together saying that was what a rhino looked like before it was wiped out by poaching and greed, and re-watching Chasing Ice so that you know what a glacier looked like before they melted.
Just down the road, inequality is so real that teachers are providing hot meals for hungry kids growing up next door to others demanding an upgrade to so last year’s smart-phone. Style advice is dispensed by ‘trend setters’ with millions of followers desperately wanting to know where they bought their fake tan products. I’m saddened to think that at some point you are going to learn about people trafficking, sexual exploitation and rape. That is if you can notice in between the emojis & likes.
But your mum and I are incredibly thankful we are blessed with good health and opportunities, and will be all the more so with you in the world. We’ve got solar panels and bikes and walking boots and I can’t wait to take you to the beach and tell you about how precious the ocean is. I hope you don’t feel bad when we take you to the countryside instead of going to the shops. (I also hope you don’t vote Tory when we tell you how important democracy is, but that’s up to you). But most of all, I hope we can tell you that the people in power have realised just how precious our world is and begun to reverse the damage that is being done.
I’m learning to have faith in a bigger picture that reaches far beyond our current understanding, and I maintain hope that there is an alternative to our current path, for if not, what is the point of bringing you on this journey. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing you, but in the meantime, I promise you I’m going to do everything I can to build a better world to share with you.
With love, faith & hope. x