As I sit here watching my niece sleep, I wish more and more that she doesn't ever grow up. Her innocence overflows. She's unaware of the dangers and sorrows of this world. Her only thoughts throughout the day are about her favorite cartoon characters and when she gets to go outside and play.
How do you explain to a child the tragedies that are going on, in not only this country, but the world? How do you comfort a child when you can't even comfort yourself from the horror? How do you explain to a child that not everyone is a good person like you see in fairytales? You want, you wish, you hope, and you, without a doubt, pray. For not only the children in your life, but for the next generation to come.
I want, I wish, I hope, and I pray for my niece. She's growing up, whether I like it or not, and I'm not always going to be here to pick her up when she falls. The older I get, the more I realize about the world. Now that I'm (semi) older and (semi) wiser, I have so many wants, wishes, hopes, and prayers for her.
I pray that she becomes a genuine and sincere person. That she respects everyone no matter their background, race, or sexual orientation. That she never thinks evil thoughts and that she never says a mean word. I pray that she speaks nothing but kindness and encouragement. I don't want her to be a push over, but I want her to stand up for herself in the right way.
I hope she is a caring person. I hope she concerns herself with the people who love her and that she loves back. I hope she treats everyone the way she wants to be treated and no less.
My wish is that she surrounds herself with the right people. That she makes friends that are uplifting and not ignorant. My wish is that she knows the difference between true friends and people who aren't. That she doesn't conform into something just to fit in with a certain crowd.
I want to watch her grow up in a world that isn't filled with heartache every time you turn on a tv. I want her to be able to go outside and play without being worried about something bad happening. I want her to be happy and carefree.
I want her to be able to explore the world and witness things she can't here. I want her to be able to fulfill all of her wildest hopes and dreams. I want her to be able to be free and not worry about the restrictions others face. I want her to be cultured. I want her to know how others live and survive. I want her to know that my everyone is alike, and that's okay.
I hope she prospers as an adult. I hope she never worries about where her next meal is going to come from. I hope she knows just how lucky she is to have what she has. I hope she becomes mindful of the people who live day to day without, but that she doesn't become arrogant.
I pray that this world doesn't drag her down with it. I pray that she never has to struggle in her life. I pray that she is as courageous as she is wondrous. I pray that she doesn't back down or change her plans because something doesn't go her way. I pray that she knows the world is a tough and scary place, and that it doesn't bow down for anyone. I pray that she becomes all she ever wants to be and more, because of how hard she worked to get there.
I hope she knows that she has a family that loves her and is always going to have her back. I hope she knows that no matter how far off the beaten path she gets that we'll be her compass to the right direction. I hope she knows that no matter how many times she fails that we'll always be her biggest fans. I hope she knows that she doesn't have to be anyone but herself. I hope she understands her worth.
And most importantly I hope she is confident in herself, her appearance, her abilities, her faith, her skills, and even her weaknesses. Because that's what makes her, her. There's not a single person or their opinion that's worth her confidence. She's beautiful and strong and determined and she's nothing but perfect to me. I want her to know that I see the potential in her and I'll remind her of that as many times as I need to. She's valued and cherished and deserves nothing less.