Not Because They Are Easy...

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Dear Benjamin,

You will be born tomorrow. It is a very surreal experience for me knowing that after almost ten months living inside me you will be making your grand debut in less than 24 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to meet you, to hold you, to bring you into our family, but I am also scared. And not just for the cliche and predictable reasons like the fear of the physical pain of birthing you or the anxieties about my capacity as a mother or the chaos of living in a home where the adults are outnumbered by the children. No, I am scared because you are being born into a scary world.
This is not a story about politics, though. This is ultimately a story of hope and a deliberate effort to seek out the good in the midst of so much pain and hate. That is my promise to you and your siblings, to always look for the good.

 

We spent the day before your birth at a children’s museum. Your father and I knew that your sister was going to need a little extra attention since she was going to once again share us with a little brother. We strolled (I waddled) around and watched our first child marvel in curiosity and wonder. I will never grow tired of watching you, my child, discover the world. We roared at dinosaurs, we drove a tractor through the cornfields of Indiana, we became astronauts on the precipice of the known world. On a whim, we wandered into the planetarium just in time for a video about the flight of the Liberty Bell 7, America’s second manned space flight. And I found myself, sitting in the dark, hand on my belly, crying.

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To be fair, I have to give a little credit to the hormones, which were reaching their tipping point as the words of JFK surrounded me: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things not because they are easy but because they are hard.” And Benjamin, in that moment I was reminded of the awesomeness and splendor of the human spirit, and I became a little less afraid of the world in which I was welcoming you. Because despite the feuding of red and blue states, despite the rhetoric of hate re-surging in this country, and despite the desperation we can feel in the midst of this chaos, we have put a man on the moon. We have sequenced the human genome. We have accomplished amazing and breathtaking feats, simply because we can. So if I close my eyes and shut out the chatter of the talking heads and the political factory, I can hear the engines of the Liberty Bell 7 roaring to life, and against all odds, sending a human being to breach the boundaries of our knowledge and capability.  This is what we have always done, and what we will continue to do.

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In a few weeks, I will bundle you up and bring you with me to cast a vote in a Presidential election. Maybe the election will go our way, and maybe it won’t. What I will try to remember in the moments where all hope for our country seems to be lost is just how amazing humans can be. We create, discover, challenge, invent, and then reinvent. Of course we don’t always get it right, either, but our flaws and imperfections are part of our humanity. So Benjamin, I challenge you, your sister, and your brother to become the people that do things because they are worthwhile. And by worthwhile I mean civil, a contribution to the greater good, a support of humanity not barbarism, a showing of respect, decency, and love, but not fear. By worthwhile I mean leaving the world better than you found it. I challenge the three of you to add to the conversation, not the noise.
This world in which I welcome you isn’t perfect, Benjamin, but it isn’t all bad. Holding you will be proof enough of that. People are pretty remarkable. Never forget that. Our human endeavors will always rise above the din of negativity and conflict. Remember, “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
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Meet The Author

Creative Media Editor

A recent transplant to the Midwest, Megan still gets excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan feels more at home in Indy every day. While she isn’t chasing after her two children or working her day job as a social worker, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete

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