I've started this post so many times that my delete button is starting to take it personally. And then just when I thought I had it, my Internet crashed, and I lost every word.
That's the way words have gone the last few days.
For those of you who do not live in the US, we're in a bit of a nightmare. Seven men lost their lives in three separate race-fueled incidents this week, and it feels like the country is drowning. A vocal minority draws lines deep into black and blue sand, and the silent majority that "just doesn't want to get into it" can be silent no more.
We're at a crossroads of hopelessness and hope, and I choose to run after hope.
But my words keep disappointing me. I don't know what to say to my six year-old who watches CNN coverage for an hour and has the same questions I do. I don't know what to say to my friends as we spend day after teary day wondering what in the world is actually happening. I don't know what to say to my friends of color because I don't have any. I don't know what to say, so I, as many on Facebook often say, hold my babies a little closer.
Sure, part of that grip is driven by thankfulness, that my babies are still with me. But part of that grip is fear. I hold them close to protect them from the madness outside our door. Because it is outside mine. It doesn't come in because I'm white and middle class. I have the luxury of the sideline.
But change doesn't happen quietly on the sidelines, not when people hang in the balance. I'm complicit in what's happening because I hold my babies close rather than hold their hands and walk into this mess together.
Together. We. Us.
Legislation can't fix this. Democracy can't fix this. Only people who move toward other people with love and a desire to understand rather than be understood can fix this. Even mamas with our babies.
It feels big because it is big. It's bigger than us. Which is why instead of holding tighter to what we have, maybe we can link arms and walk into the unknown of a more hopeful future together.
Maybe our babies need that more than they need our protection.