I’ve talked about Charlie here before. He’s a large part of my talks these days, as children are often the dominant part of their parents’ lives. Charlie’s 8, he’s in third grade at Capitol Hill Montessori, in a class of just shy of 30 first, second, and third graders. He loves to play with Lego, he loves to make puppets out of paper and play with them, he loves to draw and read books about Minecraft.
Charlie’s a big part of the future I’m working for constantly. He’s why I get up in the morning, so I can get him fed, dressed, and ready for school each day. His safety, and his needs, are a big part of what my wife and I do every day, like so many parents out there. Our children are our everything. Their smiles and hugs shine the bright lights on us. They can pick up a bad day, they can turn it all around. Their tears and their fears can just as easily remind us of our own fears and how we’ve overcome them.
Every day when I get up and take him to school I make sure that I tell him that I love him, that I hope he makes good choices and does good work. I always makes sure he knows that he’s loved unconditionally.
I make sure he hears that because I’m terrified that something like what happened in Sandy Hook, or what happened today in Uvalde, will happen here, too. That someone will bring loaded guns into his school and start shooting. And that just like that, the future I will have worked to build and craft, like so many parents who’ve lost everything, will be wiped out in an instant.
That is is my single greatest fear.
I think of all the families tonight who are grieving the loss of their future. I think of all the excuses that we’ve made as a society to keep guns in the hands of a whole bunch of people who have no business having a lethal weapon. We have to do better. For the future.
And all the futures we lost today.