My kids are young, but we have always tried to teach our children that there are many ways of living in this world. That there are many kinds of families. That we have a responsibility to stand up for those who are denied the basic human rights we all deserve. We’ve tried to model what it means to be inclusive of others no matter how different they may be from us. We do our best to acknowledge privilege. We also probably try and fail more often than we think.
My parents raised my sisters and I with unconditional love. We may not have always understood it or believed them when they said it, but I know for a fact that there is nothing I could have done or been or believed that would have stopped them from loving us. Because I was raised that way, I strive every day to be sure my kids understand the same from me.
Our love for all three of our children is unconditional. There is absolutely nothing that one of my kids could do that would ever (in a million, kajillion years) make me write a letter like this one to them.
You can be absolutely certain that if a relative or friend of mine ever says something like that to one of my kids, it won’t just be my child that they won’t see anymore. It will be the rest of us as well.
There are lots of things I will ignore and avoid saying in the interests of family peace. This is not one of them.