Leaving the warm light of the apartment, I drive through the cold and gray city – past the empty storefronts littered with trash. I stop near a huddled group smoking cigarettes and I wonder for the first time “Will my daughter smoke? Will her friends?” I keep driving.
I want to leave this part of the city, or perhaps whitewash the stained concrete and soften the harsh edges. I want to hug and forgive the broken, destitute people — but really I want them to go away – cease to exist – or at least keep far far away from my child. I tell myself “This is not the world I wanted for you, sweet child” and I start to cry because I know the pain and brokenness of the world exists not only “out there” but in me and even in the warmth of our apartment.
But this is the world we all live in, little one. This is the world – it’s going to hurt sometimes.