Updated: Aug 13, 2020
I became an aunt this year. Technically, I have been an aunt for several years now but this was the first time one of my siblings had a kid and that feels different. I don't plan on being a parent myself so this is about as close as I will come to first-hand knowledge.
It's crazy to think about 2020 as the year he came into the world alongside all the wild twists; The rollercoaster that is this year. I wouldn't know how to explain even if he was old enough to understand. I see friends with kids in kindergarten and elementary school struggling with the choice whether or not to send them to school, trying to keep them safe and entertained through this crisis, sometimes losing them despite their best efforts.
In the best of times, there's already so much to worry about before considering the hazards of being a little boy who will grow up to be tall and dark skinned, like his father. I say this within our current context and racialized culture, but with any luck that won't be his reality.
I sometimes think of a poem as a spell. If I can cast just one for him today, for his days to come, this would be it.