A Letter by Alex Martin
mpu | July 27, 2021
To my Baby Ladies,
I watch you at just one years old and think: what will this world be like when you’re 40? I think of our planet and the future of health, and work and security. I wish my mind was overcome with excitement for what you’ll see…but sadly, it isn’t, and for one of the few times in my life I’m truly fearful. Being overcome with fear isn’t what I expected to consume me as a new father thinking of my girls’ future, anxiety, sure, but fear? Worse is these feelings usually come as I hold or feed you or watch you giggle in your sweetest moments of discovery. This isn’t the America – this isn’t the world – I want for you both. In these moments of existential paralysis, I slap myself to action and say: Alex, what can you do now to help alter our collision course with this disaster? You’ll do anything for your girls, why can’t you do this?
The answer recently has been even more horrifying to me than the outcome that terrorizes my sleep: nothing. But then, suddenly, one of you grabs me by my face and looks into my eyes, bubbling with your animal sounding grunts and baby giggles, and seems to say: dad, we got this. I love your spirit – but do we?
I used to be a truly optimistic guy, still am in many smaller ways, but when it comes to thinking about my life that now extends beyond to your precious lives I’ve become…well, I’ve become more sad, more aware, more desperate to give you the promise of the America we all deserve, and to afford you both the opportunity that this world will even be inhabitable by the time you both reach my age.
I don’t know how to solve the biggest problems we face, but I do think it starts with a recognition that we have more in common than we are different, and what makes us different is our superpower. I know that in our DNA lives a gene of service, dormant in some, active in others, but present in all, and decoding our national genetics can lead to a mapping of what values, and principles we share and hold true. I think this is the only way we can stand united against the many challenges and hardships that lay ahead.
I know this letter sounds dark, it isn’t intended to; its purpose is to tell you I’m afraid, but not giving up. I’ll never give up on you and I’ll never give up on our country.
And what you’re Uncle Jake is working on gives your mom and I hope – hope that what makes us so powerful as a country in word can, in fact, translate to make us so powerful indeed. And as this new movement gains momentum, I will participate, I will show up, and I will do everything in my being to do all I can so that one day you can be as proud of me as I know I will be of each of you. Thank you both for reminding me there’s so much more to fight for.