Hope for My Son on the Swing

The morning clouds have finally lifted, and the midday sun accelerates the humidity on this late-Summer Sunday.

But my son hardly notices.

He swings back and forth, a giggle bubbling up each time I push.

Other kids dash from the bars up the stairs and down the slide.

Two parents move their strollers and conversation to the shade of the trees on the other side of the playground. I wish I could pick up the swing and move it under the tree, as well. But I just keep pushing, delighting more each time he smiles.

I know that days won’t always be so simple and innocent.

One day my son will learn that some people believe in their superiority because of their race or gender.

He’ll learn that from time-to-time these people are emboldened to make their presence known through demonstration and violent acts.

He’ll learn that some people won’t like him because of his religion.

But I’ll teach him that many good people believe that our shared humanity is more important than any superficial differences.

I’ll teach him that when one side tries to find ways to marginalize and suppress, good people use their voices to denounce and unite.

I’ll teach him that only one side is right.

But right now my only hope is that he gets as much joy out of this day as possible.

I only want him to keep swinging.

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