“The future is safe,” the gentle-faced homeless man said with a confident smile as he watched my son speed past him on the cracked sidewalk, stones jutting out at angles sure to trip my wobbly two-year-old.
The future is safe?
Moms everywhere would disagree.
A cracked sidewalk is just the beginning! What about his best buddy at school telling him he’d rather play with Henry instead?
What about the back of the school bus flying open due to punk kids (other people’s) and faulty mechanics?
What about mean college admissions administrators and cars in general?
Mothers are built to worry; it’s what compels us to make things safe. The world needs safety; it needs mothers. It needs her outstretched arms, her eyes, not a flicker of love lost when the secret is shared, her heart warm enough to stretch out upon and sleep while the storm brews outside.
It needs Mother, whose wisdom and contribution give children a greater sense of belonging, unrelated to whether or not her specific body has borne a specific child. Woman, Mother, Love…it’s just semantics. They are one.
Mother can let the worry rest, because she has made him safe in her heart by knowing she can’t make him safe in the world, always.
But with her heart she can make him free, and freedom is more important than safety. Running without fear along treacherous sidewalks is true freedom, and he knows what he’s doing. He will know what he’s doing. He will try, and if he’s fully living, he will fall. Then, he will get up whether or not he’s holding my hand.
His hand holds the future.
And that’s how I know the future is safe.