To my future children,

I’m writing from a time when things are good but not great. Every time is like that as we live through them, but humanity’s progress has a steep curve.

People are getting shot and no one’s doing anything about it, but we’re stopping things that are even worse, like nuclear war. I don’t want you to know what nuclear war looks like. I don’t even want to know what it looks like.

Grandpa and grandpa are getting married. In your world, that isn’t a big deal. I know that. In my world, it’s incredible. So many people fought so hard for our family. You won’t know most of them, and neither will I. Don’t ever take love for granted. Remember there was a time when people put limits on it.

Be careful around people with power. It does strange things to people. If you get into that position yourself, don’t abuse it. Not everyone can be as lucky as you, and not everyone is as unlucky, either.

Take care of yourself, physically and mentally. I at least want that much for you. I want to believe the world you live in is a world where mental health is as easy to keep up with as physical health. They’re equally important.

In addition to your mental health, your mind is the most important thing you’ll ever have. I hope you love learning. I hope you’d rather read than play a video game (even though you’ll probably have this cool 3D shit by the time you start gaming). Never stop learning.

Think of the person you want to be and then become that person. It’s the best advice I ever got and it’s the best I can give you. Find something you want to do and do it.

Guard your heart when it comes to love. Your first love is going to be the hardest, and your last love is going to be the best. I promise not to be too hard on anyone you bring home.

Take care of yourself, but do what you can for everyone else. Everyone else has a story just as complicated and as significant as yours or mine or anyone else’s.

I don’t know who you’re going to be yet, and I barely know who I’m going to be, but I hope I’m a good mother. I’ll do my best and I’ll always be there for you. I don’t care what you want to do with your life, as long as it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else.

I want your life to be perfect, but it won’t be. I want to be the world’s best mom but I won’t be. Have some patience with me and try to remember that I have the best intentions.

I hope you’re reading this from the world I worked towards. I hope that you love learning and that you go to a school with an arts program. I hope that you value life and that you’re not in the minority about that. I hope that you’re healthy and happy, and that if you’re not healthy there’s a cure and if you’re not happy there’s a fix. I hope you can pass by a police car without the urge to cover your face and that you can defend yourself but never have to. I hope that your generation is better than mine; that you do things we could only dream of and more.

I love you.