What I Wish I Could Give My Children On Independence Day

Ten things I wish I could share with my children today.

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  • I wish I could give you a world you weren’t afraid to walk around in. I wish I could say, “Go out there and have fun today,” and know that “out there” wasn’t dangerous for you.
  • I wish you could hug your grandparents. I wish you could go kayaking with Grandma and fishing with Grandpa and eat all of Grammie’s potato salad. I wish you could sit on Meme’s couch while Pepe asks, “Who feels like watching a movie?” as he pops the popcorn and pours three cups of ginger ale. 
  • I wish you could see your friends. I wish you could take them out tubing and share the same tube. I wish you could have them over for your birthday party, whacking homemade pinatas and waging birthday cake food fights. I wish you could put three mattresses down on your bedroom floor and stay up half the night telling funny stories as you play “truth, dare, double dare, promise to repeat.”  
  • I wish you knew when or if you were going back to school. I wish I could tell you, “Yes, it will be the same. You’ll have classes where your teacher will be in the same room and your classmates will sit beside you and you’ll get to play your favorite sport again.”
  • I wish you could go to the parade and cheer as the fire trucks, bands, veterans and colorful floats pass by. I wish you could dart after candy, laugh at the men in their miniature cars and wave your little flags in the air while you show your love for our country.
  • I wish you could watch Uncle Bill light off his box of pyrotechnics under some low lying tree branches as he tells Jack, “Make a run for it!!” I wish you could see him in his Uncle Sam suit and know, yet again, what a fun family your Dad comes from. 
  • I wish I had more than a barbeque and some clean beach towels to give you. I wish I had a theme park and a person to make those fun animal balloons standing by and a caricaturist who could sketch your picture.
  • I wish you had no fear of what your future holds. I wish you could know that it will all be okay again and that the people around you will do the right thing.
  • I wish you could help make this world a more loving place today. I wish you could show people that you were raised to treat others as equals, no matter what race, color, religion, age, physical ability, mental facility, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status or socioeconomic background they are. I wish you could show your love for others in your actions and your words right now.
  • And above all, I wish you could believe that you have the power to change the world. I wish you could understand that independence isn’t about not needing anyone or anything — it’s about realizing that your strength comes from your ability to admit your dependence on others. I wish you could live in a world that shows you how peace comes from unity.


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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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