Having a child is the most optimistic thing you can do in life. There are many other actions that suggest a hope or prediction for a better future in some small way — buying certain stocks or homes — but having a child is different. Having a child speaks to every possible thing that can happen in the world and our individual beliefs that they will turn out for the better.
We have children because we have faith in ourselves and our world. Children are the embodiment of everything we want the world to become, because we make them to make the world turn out that way.
When we worry about our children’s health, it’s because we’re worrying that their lives might not be as great as we’re trying to make them. When we worry about our children’s educations, it’s because we’re worrying that they might not gain the access to opportunities that we hoped would become available.
It takes relatively little effort by relatively few people to make so many hopes and dreams come to a startling halt. For so many, there will be no more hopes and dreams, and nothing will ever bring them back.
It seems unfair, and it is. It takes so much — so very, very much — to make hopes and dreams real. It takes so very much of us to raise children. And it’s so easy for others to take them away.
The political discussions have already started, and the recriminations will begin soon.
But today and every day, when we think about what we want to happen and how we want the world to be, we need to remember what makes us believe in a better future in the first place. And that’s our children.