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You're officially a two-year-old. You probably won’t remember this birthday, or much of 2020. I'm OK with that, given the mess that it is. My hope is that by the time you do start forming your childhood memories, our world will be a little bit brighter.
Here are my wishes for your next birthday:
That we make it to the other side of the pandemic. That we can look up to and respect the people we’ve chosen to lead our country, our state, our city and our community. That I can take you to your first ballet and plan a trip to Disney World to see your favorite princesses. That the children in our country, and all over the world, can go to school. That parents can go to work. That people can find work if they’ve lost it. That we can see grandmas and grandpas without hesitation. That there's a little less hate in the world. That we all come out of this more resilient human beings, with the drive to do the things we’ve always wanted to do.
I hope that the world will be a little bit better by the time you turn three. But that won’t be enough. What comes next for the country is up to you. The world has changed, and being a little girl is now a very important job. You’ll need to be strong, be kind and be hopeful. You’ll need to listen with an open mind to others who are entirely different than you. You’ll need to speak up when something’s not right, and you’ll need to take action when you can make it right yourself. You’ll need to take a stand on things that matter. You’ll need to defend yourself and others. You’ll need to make yourself heard. You’ll need to be thoughtful. You’ll need to lead.
For now, you just eat your Frozen-themed cake and build your block towers and sing songs and read books and laugh until you’re rolling on the floor. But there will be a day that you won’t fit all tiny-like in my arms, and there will be another day when I won’t be able to pick you up at all. I hope when that day comes you will have tackled each and every one of your hopes and dreams knowing that while this world is not perfect, it’s your world, and you must take it on fiercely and with conviction.
I know you will do all of this because I see it in your kind eyes and your fearless spirit. I see that you have what it takes to lift all of us up. I know you and your peers will be better than us – more compassionate, less biased, more open-minded, full of love. Ready to take on the world, turning the bad parts into good, and making the good parts the best that they can be.
I am funneling all of my hopefulness and love into you, knowing that you will be great.
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