My Extraordinary Eight,
I don’t see you as often as I’d like. Or talk to you as often as we should talk. I believe that you know how much you are are loved by me. And that you know I’m proud of you. You may not know how much you inspire me. You are navigating a world I don’t altogether recognize. And doing a good job of it even if your voice is shaking, your knees are wobbly, or you’re not feeling all the way sure.
Some of you were not on this planet the first time I read this essay but you saw some of the language on my living room wall.
You might not get it the first time. (Or the second or third). But read it anyway. James Baldwin is one of my favorite writers, and he wrote it to his nephew back in 1962. I could’ve written it to any of you–if I could write like James Baldwin that is.
Anyway, Mr. Baldwin is just reminding his nephew that he is fearfully and wonderfully loved.
“Well, you were born; here you came..Here you were to be loved. To be loved, baby, hard at once and forever to strengthen you against the loveless world.
Fearful love means sometimes I worry over you because I love you so much (yeah, resulting in that goofy glossy-eyed look–just play along like y’all do). If you know that, then you know that there are no shady hucksters, no mistake you could ever make, no single thing on this side of the river Jordan that could make you any less than loved in my eyes and should not make you any less in your own.
P.S. Here’s the essay.