Three weeks ago we welcomed the cutest addition to our family (yes, I reluctantly conceded my crown to a more formidable contender). By the time baby Kinza reads this, the world may have done away with social media, but I hope you and I will still be around to tell her that she made her debut surrounded by immense love and light. This will be an important reminder when she begins to witness the "bang-ups and hang-ups" (Dr. Seuss) that go along with this journey, but it will be critical even more so, when she feels alone in navigating them.
I am fortunate to have grown up in a family and community that will not leave you alone, whether you like it or not (yes, that came out how it was supposed to). And, I am the better for it because it is only that kind of annoying tenacity that saves us all from being our own worst enemies. "Some people care too much. I think it's called love." (A.A. Milne). When you are celebrated even before you are born, what reason can you have to wonder whether your worth is incumbent upon your successes or failures? The stinky diapers are no deterrent, for we have no stakes in them, only in your incredible presence and joy.
We tend to forget this and many other obvious things when we get older, fearing failure before we have given life a chance. I pray for my niece to live in the blissful ignorance of self-determination, for "the moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it" (J.M. Barrie). Crawling is for babies, Kinza Karim! Without faith, the currents are strong; with it, no horizon unattainable.
With this unlimited potential also come unlimited choices on the road ahead. So, in a world of inequity, I hope she chooses kindness. In a world of noise, I hope she seeks out peace. And, in a world of false illusions, I hope she "sees clearly only with the heart" (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
No one ever walked into this life without the opportunity to give and receive love. I am not sure that I will ever be able to balance the books of what I have been given, but one thing's for sure, Kinza, "We'll love you forever, we'll like you for always, As long as we're living, our baby you'll be" (Robert Munch).