I can’t read an article about millennials without writing an angry rebuttal. I won’t post all those rants, but I will post this one because I think it’s the most important.
As a millennial, I’m now a parent. Even while the world is this bleak and tragedy bleeds through our lives, sometimes I think it’s going to be okay when I think of what I hope for my son.
I hope my son is happy. I hope he’s lucky enough to wake up in the morning and look forward to the day.
I hope he knows love. With one person or four people, a man or a woman, lots of men or lots of women. I don’t care who he chooses or how many as long as he knows true love that honors and cherishes and protects.
I hope he finds a passion. Ideally, he’d make a living from it. If he’d rather just make it a hobby, that works, too. I hope he finds something that makes him excited for tomorrow.
I hope he laughs. And smiles. And sings. I hope he’s a better singer than me.
I hope he dances out his feelings—Footloose style. Again, with more finesse than me.
I hope he appreciates his privilege. I want him to understand that we are equal in words but not in action.
I hope he celebrates the differences in people rather than judges.
I hope he doesn’t feel the need to tell other people how to live their lives because he thinks his way is the only way.
I hope he understands he’s lucky to have healthcare (hopefully he’ll grow up having it) and I want him to know not everyone is covered and how devastating not having healthcare can be to physical, emotional, and financial health.
I hope he never goes into debt.
I hope he believes in equality. I hope he sees the flaws in our systems and works to change them.
I hope he gives second chances. To people, to life, to himself.
I hope he’s kind. I hope he’s considerate. I hope he’s caring.
I hope he learns. If there’s one thing guaranteed, I know my son will make mistakes. I know one day I’ll be disappointed in him. I know one day he’ll be disappointed in me. I know he’ll take wrong paths and winding roads and I will probably feel sick to my stomach watching him travel.
I hope he always knows I love him. I hope he ventures out into the world and blazes his own path. I hope he’s brave and daring and doesn’t worry as much as I do. I hope he worries a little, just so he’s not completely reckless.
I hope he knows he can always come home. In triumph. In failure. In love. In defeat.
I hope he knows I’m never trying to tell him who to be. I hope he takes my guidance or suggestions as lessons learned rather than criticisms.
I hope he chooses to listen rather than speak. I hope he speaks when it matters.
I hope he grows up in a world that’s safer. I hope he grows up in a world with less hate. I hope he grows up in a world with less violence.
I hope he chooses to give compliments rather than insults.
I hope he knows that the nature of humanity makes us all susceptible to chaos but it also makes us susceptible to beauty.
I hope he knows his own nature. I hope he likes his own nature. I hope he likes himself. But maybe not too much.
I hope he recognizes society is socially constructed and it can be changed, even when it feels impossible.
I hope he finds comfort in home.
I hope he feels comfortable with himself.
I think of all my hopes for my son and I realize, it’s a lot less about what he’ll have and more about the effect he’ll have on the world. I hope it’s positive.
I don’t want to burden my son with expectations. I’m well aware this list is full of them.
There are so many things I want my son to be.
More than anything, I want him to be decent. Despite all the articles about millennials with all the negatives, I see a lot of millennials with the parental goals of creating a generation that’s decent.
That’s why I think the world is going to be okay. Maybe not tomorrow, or next year, or a decade from now. But eventually.