Brand New Feet

To Our Unborn Daughter,

Very soon, you’ll be exploring this world with brand new feet. One day you’ll stretch out your beautifully tiny toes, and reach them down onto a path that’s been paved by generations before you. Over the last few years, great people have worked together to soften the ground to ensure that any person can walk around freely, regardless of who they are, what they look like, or what they believe in. Because of this, we’ve been able to take big strides forward–in a world full of roads changed by understanding, repair and reformation. 

We hope that you’ll get to take your first steps on this same enlightened road, but you never know when this could change; either overnight, over 10 years, or over a lifetime. These paths might start to feel like they are shifting from under your feet, sending you back through the cracks and bumps of times we thought were behind us. The road may have toughened due to decisions beyond our control…but for that, we still must apologize to you. 

We are fundamentally reminded that there are dark roads of disagreement with endless twists and turns. Anger, grief and fear may haunt these passages. There may be men in monster suits hiding in the shadows with false claims to make these roads even greater than before. But be wary, they will challenge you beyond your wildest imagination, trying to shift your every step in their favor.

In spite of this, you will crawl, then walk, and eventually run through the darkness with endearment guiding your way. You’ll be timid and anxious at times, worried and afraid of this ever-changing path; but your mom and I will be right there beside you, gently lifting you up by your delicate hands if you should fall, and teaching you how to find your own steady grounding. Always remember, the roads don’t actually move before us, we are the ones that move along the roads. 

To get you through this journey with your brand new feet, we will pick out your first few pairs of shoes. But soon you’ll learn how to choose the right ‘Chucks’, ‘Toms’ or ‘Crocs’ to get you where you need to go. You will “loop, swoop and pull” yourself up, as you mend the ruptured concrete alongside future friends, schoolmates and colleagues. 

As your tiny feet grow, your mom and I will fight to take down any walls blocking your path, to give you the freedom to learn from any oversights of the past. 

We know that someday, you and your generation will have the strength to endure this battle, maybe even better than we ever could–to continue pushing forward with those steadfast, prevailing, and not so brand new feet. 

Love,

Dad (and Mom)

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