A Lesson From My Baby Girl
Tomorrow my baby girl will turn 18. I find myself waxing nostalgic on how she has grown from a sweet and stubborn little baby to a sweet and more stubborn young woman. She was accepted to Longwood with a small scholarship and, if I can find a way to afford it, wants to major in Journalism and possibly minor in Political Science. No matter what she does, she’ll leave her mark on this world that will be undeniable.
She has always had a certain drive that I admire, and she never settles for anything less than what she sees as perfection. When she was a baby, instead of crawling, she scooted … pulling herself all over the house with her arms. She scooted faster than any crawler I have ever seen. Maybe it was more efficient. But when she wanted something, she did not stop until she had it. There was no obstacle that she would not go around … or just through.
Her father passed away when she was in middle school, and rather than falling into a self-destructive pattern, his death served as a catalyst to enhance her drive to succeed. She is without a doubt the most amazing young woman I have ever known, and she hasn’t even started changing the world yet.
Oh, but she will.
The mother in me worries for her as all mothers do, but that worry mostly is offset by her self-aware nature. The worry that remains is caused by the current climate in society in general. Americans are so polarized that we’re almost at the point of completely shutting out divergent ideas. I think there is nothing more corrosive to the future generations than how we are teaching them to ignore opinions from “the other side” no matter what that side might be.
Politics provides the most easily seen reference to that polarization. Love him or not, President Trump has managed to almost force Republicans to either support him or remain silent. Even though I am not surprised, it still catches me off guard when I see blind allegiance to … anyone.
I think blind allegiance is dangerous, and thankfully, there are a few Republicans that agree with me. I accidentally ran across this group while researching a different topic. Republicans for the Rule of Law is part of a larger group defending democracy together. I don’t agree with all of the opinions of either group, but that’s a good thing.
It gives me hope that there are still folks that stand up for what they believe is right. It does not matter who is sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania. Anyone who will flat-out dismiss the opinions of others is feeding the climate that has become so toxic to rational debate. But we are all Americans and we can choose to change the climate. A house divided cannot stand, and that is not good enough for my baby girl … and my baby girl won’t have it.
Just as she allowed nothing to stand in her way as a baby, now at 18, she has nearly perfected her methods of persuasion and she has done so with a willingness to understand. “Ma … I can’t win the damn argument if I don’t understand the other person’s point.” There is a lesson in her words.
Happy Birthday, Baby Girl! I love you more than you’ll ever know, and you have made me very proud.
Watch out world … here she comes!
Photos by Andrea Epps