Let me tell you a little about my daughter Mia, born last she’s our third daughter and our baby. She’s always been our sweet one, shy, fearful. She has anxiety, not the normal type but the type that gets in deep and controls your life. She obsesses about small things. If you know anything about Mia you know a few things, the first thing is that she loves baby dolls. Mia fell in love with her first baby doll a few years ago, she was just a baby at the time too.
That leads us to our life now, see Mia still loves her baby. Lily is her name and she is Mia’s world. When Mia goes to the pool, Lily goes to the pool. When Mia gets sunblock, Lily gets sunblock. When Mia eats, Lily always gets a bite first. When I tuck Mia into bed I tuck in Lily, when I look for Mia I look for Lily, when I’m at the grocery store I keep tabs on Lily. I even get to buckle her into the seat of the car. That’s what you do for the people you love.A few weeks ago while on vacation Mia brought Lily to the pool. The other little girls at the pool spotted Lily with Mia, as little girls usually do when Mia takes Lily anywhere the other girls all wanted to play with Lily.
At the pool one little girl said to Mia “Let me see Doc McStuffin’s, let me play with Doc” and so that day while everyone else wanted to play with Doc our little Mia was very upset. Upset because the other girls did not know that she is Lily and they were just throwing her around the pool as if she were nothing. In Mia’s world this was everything. Mia upset tells me “They keep calling Lily Doc and she’s not Doc McStuffin’s. She is Lily, my doll Lily and I love her and they can’t play with her.”So that day, I didn’t tell Mia she had to share. I allowed her to hold Lily close and they played in the pool together. Mia singing songs to Lily, the two of them seemingly in their own little world. That afternoon she shared her dessert with Lily too, and as always Lily took a bite first.
That day like many other before I did talk to my children about the importance of loving one another, and their friends. We talked to Mia about why the other girls assumed that Lily was Doc McStuffin’s. In the last week there have been several more senseless shootings of African American’s in this country. Yesterday when my friends were in tears asking for help, asking for our whiteness and asking us all to just say that this needs to stop I wanted to tell everyone about Mia and Lily and the friendship they have.
People say all the time that they want their children to change the world. What I want each and every one of you to know is that the children we are raising will change the world. We are writing history books and it takes every single mother, father, uncle, auntie, Grandparent, whomever you are. It takes you opening your heart to not just a shy little white girl and her doll Lily but to the little girls and boys that look like Lily. It takes removing your ideals and expectations for what you think people should be like, and seeing them for who they are a loving father, a mother an auntie or a friend. It will not be easy, the work we have to do is heavy, but we have to start now. We have to talk to our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors, we have to talk to our children.
You see my wish for your children is that they find a love as deep as Mia’s and Lily’s.