My Son’s World

The World I Want For My SonThis past weekend, on the one-year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, my son turned 16 months old. The juxtaposition of those two events—my contemplation on my son’s life and growth, coupled with my reflection on that tragic day—got me thinking about what type of world I want my son to grow up in. Sadly, it isn’t exactly the world we’re living in now.

The world I want for my son? It’s a world where school is a safe place, where the presence of guns is unthinkable and the presence of metal detectors is unnecessary.

It’s a world in which education is valued, not just through words but also through budgets. What’s more, it’s a world in which teachers are valued—and that includes through their paychecks—because those who educate our children are heroes and deserve to be treated as such.

It’s a world in which children all over the globe—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—can satisfy their thirst for learning without fear of violence or discrimination or even death. It’s a world where the right to education is taken seriously because it’s synonymous with the right to freedom and self-sufficiency.

If I had my way, my son’s world would be one in which books weren’t banned.

Pages of a Book

Someday I want to catch my boy up way past his bedtime because he couldn’t stop turning the pages of a novel. I want him to burst through the door after school, his excitement to share what he learned that day leaving him literally out of breath. I want him to see that even though it’s easier for someone to just give him the answer, discovering it on his own is so much more rewarding.

I want my son’s mind to be forever open to new ideas and opinions and discussions. I want him to understand that knowledge really is power.

Maybe I’m just a dreamer. Maybe my vision is too idealistic, one that sounds nice but only exists in fairy tales.

Or maybe not.

Maybe there’s hope.

What if everyone said thank you to a teacher today? That would be a start, wouldn’t it?

What if every parent read their child a book, not just tonight but every night?

What if every politician pushed aside their own interests and political liabilities and declared that the instruction of our children is paramount? And what if at the same time we empowered our educators to stop just teaching to the test?

What if we all gave just $1 to support the right to education for those children living in oppressive countries where learning is hoarded by those in power rather than shared freely with all who want it?

What if we pulled out all the stops to make our schools safer and more supportive for all students, no matter where they come from or how they look or how they learn.

I may be a dreamer, but that’s the kind of world I want my son to live in.


8 responses to “My Son’s World”

  1. That sounds like a really wonderful world. I guess I’m a dreamer too. But part of me also believes that if we keep pointing out how we can improve our world, then we can make a difference in it. Actually I know we can. I’m going to be back here to share this post (when more people will see it). Thank you.

    • The only guaranteed way NOT to make a difference is to stop trying, right? It sounds like neither of us is going to let that happen anytime soon!

  2. Hallelujah! I wish more parents shared your dreams. Teachers should be the highest paid professionals in this world. After all, they hold the key to our children’s futures. Books, not video games, should be filling our children’s leisure time. A safer world comes from parents teaching their kids about respect and empathy. Thank you for highlighting what’s really important.

  3. I’d love to live in that world too. It saddens me that my daughter doesn’t feel safe in her high school – that she has to think about things like school shootings. We have to be dreamers – dreamers are the ones who can change the world.

  4. I have tried to pass on to my boys the love of reading. I can’t do much about other families, but I can do what I can with mine, and hope it makes a difference

  5. It’s sad little teachers are paid, especially if they work part-time only.Meanwhile school admins easily crack into the six-figure mark even in their first year.

  6. I can’t imagine any mother not being fully 100% behind your post!! If that makes us all dreamers – well so be it – dreams can absolutely come true.
    I love that my children’s school picks a charity in another country as their Global Outreach each year. One year they raised money to buy bricks to build a school in Kenya. This year it’s a water purification in Ghana. I love having my children thinking beyond their own borders, along with their other subjects.
    So yes, I think your dream is entirely possible. we just need the workers to make it happen.

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