Dear Zoey,

Sometimes, it’s all just too much.

Today, at least 120 people were killed in terrorist attacks over in Paris.

And I’m sorry.

I’m so sorry, baby girl. I’m sorry that you have to grow up in a world where hatred is rampant. I’m sorry that every week there’s a new story of senseless violence. I was in 4th grade (maybe 3rd?) when the Oklahoma City Bombing happened. I was in 8th grade when Columbine happened. I was a junior in high school when 9/11 happened. You were 4 years old when Sandy Hook happened.

And these are only the “big” ones in my history. Each of these times, the world has seemed so dark and evil. And sometimes, it feels unbearable.

But there is light. And there is kindness. And there is goodness. It sometimes feels impossible to attain or reach or grasp.

As you grow older, you will see scary things. You will doubt your safety in normal places. And “normal” for you will be much different from what normal meant during my childhood. And frankly, I hate that.

But kindness matters. Continue shining your light in all the darkness. Cling to our mission statement, “Have courage and be kind.” It is always braver to be kind. Always.

I’m not nearly as eloquent as I want to be. Mostly because this world is a scary place to be anymore. The paranoia is baffling to me sometimes, but we can’t succumb to fear. Hatred is born out of fear, and we won’t live that way, my love.

Love you,

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