In February 2016 this video of then 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin meeting President Barack Obama at the White House went viral. The joy of her spirit, the pride in eyes, and the satisfaction in her voice are enough to inspire anyone.
Just days prior another viral video focused on President Obama hit the internet. Only this time, the mood wasn’t happiness, but despair. Caprina D Harris posted this video of her granddaughter, who shares a birthday with the President. She was in hysterics because he won’t be president for much longer. What a stark contrast in response to the same event.
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You Must Feel To Parent With Hope
That same weekend, Olivia and I watched a video where a young girl quoted President Barack Obama stating, “Yes we can.” To explain the reference I showed Olivia the Yes We Can music video. Produced and arranged by will.i.am it is set to the words of a speech delivered by Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential Campaign.
And as a mom, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready because of my uncertainty, my own emotions, my own fears. I wasn’t ready to parent with hope and not fear.
Lean Into Your Uncertainty
May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears. Nelson Mandela
My uncertainty won. The uncertainty of how my compassionate giver would respond to such harsh realities. Would these realities motivate her drive or crush her spirit? Not knowing how she would handle it held me back.
I let my emotions rule the day. If I showed emotion my little humanitarian would too. It was too hard to explain the pride and the sadness behind my tears. I didn’t want to have to own up to my emotions that day.
I gave into my fear. The fear of her questions that have no clear and reasonable answers. My fear of the damage to her psyche when she realizes that what’s happening in our country is very different than what she experiences in her everyday life.
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Embrace Hope Even When It Seem Unlikely
But I should have allowed my hope to intervene. The hope that she will see goodness in the world. Hope in the goodness within her that will be seen by the world. The hope that her faith in humanity will remain and grow.
I should have operated from a place of hope that day. The same hope that brought us to the place we are today. Hope that is the source of so much joy and so much sorrow. The same hope that inspired the very young and the very aged.
Do you struggle to parent with hope and not fear? I would love to hear your story.