He’s two. He’s watching Peppa Pig while I shush the baby to sleep. He doesn’t know. Yesterday I was anxiously checking my phone and I told him I was scared, he said “you can’t be scared, you’re a Mummy!”
He doesn’t know that there are big things to be scared of in the world, things even scarier than the noise of the recycling truck.
He doesn’t know that some people think a person’s gender limits their life options. He doesn’t know that some families aren’t gentle and kind to their children. He doesn’t know that some people want his wonderful favourite kaiako to go home, bloody immigrant.
He doesn’t know that ordinary people can do abhorrent things.
He doesn’t know that his great-grandmother spent her youth in a concentration camp.
He doesn’t know that his Pākehā ancestors made a life on stolen land.
It’s hard to think that one day he’ll find out these things. But I know what I’ll tell him. I’ll tell him what my parents told me: we find meaning in life through making the world better. I’ll tell him what his religious tradition has been saying for millennia: we are put on this earth to do the work of healing it, together. I hope he finds strength in these messages, strength to avoid cynicism, strength to avoid despair and despondency, strength to carry that torch forward. I hope that by the time he’s old enough to take note of current events, the world will be better than it is today.