Motherhood is always tough. Even on the best days you are still responsible for everything related to another person. Not just for that moment, but for their future. You will shape the person they become. That’s pretty heavy shit and it weighs on you. Slowly, like the small rocks my child constantly hands me to hold for her whenever we go on a walk. Some days the load feels lighter… like when your kids are getting along at the beach and you can actually revel in their cuteness or when you finally see the bottom of that damn laundry hamper and you got your “I got this” mom swagger going on.
Then there are days like today. When you turn on the news and the world seems like a dark heavy place and you look at your kids and the weight of your responsibility nearly crushes you. You realize that you not only need to protect them today while they are young and still so filled with genuine kindness and an inherent idea of fairness and equality, but that you need to also prepare them for the outside world and the not so imaginary monsters they may encounter. You need to nurture those feelings of fairness and kindness, while steeling their souls for the harsh reality that not everyone thinks the same way and has these values. I truly do not want to ever explain to my child what a Nazi is or even more horrifying what “Holocaust” means. That is a conversation I dread with every part of my soul. ( BTW it is laughable when I hear right wing radicals have a similar dread when explaining why Timmy has two moms… STFU)
Some day I will have to explain to my daughters that pure evil existed and even today wields power. That we must always be vigilant and on the look out for its reemergence. How the hell do you explain that to a child without stamping out that light of innocence?
The inevitability of that discussion weighs me down on days like today. In between endless snack requests and diaper changes, I am acutely aware of my profoundly important duty as a parent. She needs to hear about evil and hate from me because she will also hear about tolerance, love, and standing up to evil from me. The message must come from me if I want to shape how she views evil. Is it something that will come to get her in the night? Is it something so remote that she will never face it? I don’t know how to explain it so that she doesn’t fear evil and shirk when it shows itself, but rather stands up and confronts it head on. She’s 6. I still have time to determine how I will deliver my message on that day, but everyday that day gets closer and closer and the weight gets heavier and heavier.