Letters to Lainey #1

November 20, 2017

Thank god you’re finally here, Lainey. So much has happened and is happening and is about to happen. There is so much exciting news!

First, the politics. Sorry.

This is really boring and I hate to start with politics but I have to mention it—we used to have a mean, nasty person for a president but then we found out about you and everyone got together and we told him he had to leave! We now have a nice, smart, funny woman as president and a lot of things are now being fixed. Presidents used to be big deal but not so much anymore.

Technolo…gee!

You may notice machines that seem to be magic, like phones and computers. Everyone had one until recently and then a lot of people just got tired of them. People would rather talk to each other again in person. Like over coffee and while walking in the park. It’s funny, we older people didn’t even have to tell them you were coming—younger people just sort of figured the whole thing out.

Gender equality. Check.

You’ll be happy to hear that women and girls used to be treated badly but not anymore. It took a long time but some things happened that changed the way we think about women and girls (and everyone, actually). It was probably time for it to happen but I think it was news of your arrival that helped it along. Anyway, you’ll enjoy being whoever you decide you are.

Stuff wanted. Leaves saved. Manatees.

The earth was really getting sick but it’s getting better, thanks to you being born. Now there are new ways to get around and new ways to power lights and refrigerators and things. We don’t throw as much stuff away, partly because we just don’t use as much stuff, but also because these days people don’t seem to care as much about getting everything they want, as much as really wanting everything they have. It was the other way around for a long time. But since we found out about you, the animals and plants and air and water and oceans and trees and manatees are loved and protected a lot more. I can’t WAIT to show you the birds and the newts and the acorns and the color of the sycamore leaves in November. We saved them all for you.

Us vs. them. Fixed.

Once, before your mom and dad found out you were coming, people really had a hard time agreeing on anything and talking to each other. In your great-grandparent’s time, it wasn’t as hard. Now it’s becoming more like that again. People still disagree but they talk about it and listen to each other more. It’s led to a lot more things getting done and after many years of everyone being really mad at each other all the time, problems are starting to get solved.

Stories waiting to be told. 

You’ll be amazed at how many different kinds of people there are where you live. You will have friends whose families come from all over the world. Some have light skin, some have dark skin, some speak in different languages, eat different food, some have amazing stories to tell about their families and where they came from and what it was like to get here. You will also have amazing stories to tell, about your family and how we all got here. All this was happening before you arrived, but for some reason everyone is extra excited to tell you their stories. Maybe they just know you’ll listen.

Mean people update.

There are still mean people who do mean things in the world, even though you’re here now, but we’re getting a lot better at noticing them when they’re kids and loving them extra hard so they don’t grow up to be mean, sad and lonely adults who hurt themselves and other people. You know the thing I mentioned about computers and phones and people talking to each other instead of sending each other electric messages of various kinds? That really helped. Great idea! Oh, and all the guns were melted down a while ago and made into the world’s biggest, solar powered Ferris Wheel. I have two tickets.

Religious discord…turns out, not that hard. 

Some people in the world still believe in some sort of invisible person who’s in charge and makes all the rules, but fewer than there used to be. Some of the “invisible person believers” used to be really angry at anyone who didn’t also believe in their particular invisible person and they would be very mean about it and hurt them, but a funny thing happened…as soon as we found out about you, the believers who believed their invisible person was a kind person convinced the believers who believed their person was a mean, angry person that they weren’t reading things 100% correctly. So the latter invisible person believers said, “Hmm…that makes sense.” Most people believe in themselves and visible things more now. But if there is an invisible person who’s in charge, I’m sure he, she or it is happier now that you’re here.

And lastly…the beginning.

I know what you’re thinking and yes, Lainey, the world IS a wonderful place. The Earth is a beautiful planet in a beautiful universe. People are kind and complicated and there are cats and beaches and scientists and apple crisp and R.E.M. and horses and honey bees and books and puppet theaters and fairies in the backyard and oh my god…red shafted flickers!

And It’s all here for you. You’re welcome. And thanks.

Love–Grandpa

P.S. And by the way, the U.S. Soccer team won the World Cup! Again! You scored twice.

1 thought on “Letters to Lainey #1”

  1. Been following your blog for a while now and just wanted to say thanks for putting thoughts into words. Your viewpoint and insight (and humor) are appreciated. This particular post got me a little misty eyed as it reminded me how I felt when my (now 21 year old) daughter was born. Your final paragraph made me smile though: R.E.M… honey bees… books… red shafted flickers… these are a few of my favorite things! 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *