To My Son: Can I Teach You Love in a World of Mass Shootings and Hate?


With news of mass-shootings everywhere I want to protect my toddler son. It’s too soon for him to know about the pain of the world, but I think about what I will teach him. I wrote him this letter to start preparing myself for the lessons I’ll need to share with him someday.

Dear Son,

I’ve sheltered you from conception; I never wanted to keep anything safer, but there will be a day when I need to teach you some things. Right now we talk a lot about trucks and how much we love each other. We love to point out the flowers we see on our walks and the boats we see on the ocean, but someday you will see things that are less beautiful. This will seem odd to you because it doesn’t follow what I have taught you so far.  

I’ve done my best to teach you to hold others with respect, to see them as worthy of life, and to see each life as worthy of equal treatment. I’ve done my best to show you that a hug makes others smile and a kiss can make a boo-boo better. I’ve taught you every day that you are loved and that there is love in this world.

But how can I teach you about the sadness? How can I teach you about the pain? How can I teach you about the injustice? About the death?

I know that I can teach you about our history and how society has bettered itself over time – we abolished slavery and gave more people the right to vote. I can tell you about this, but you’ll still wonder why you see some people treating others as unequal.

I can teach you about the Constitution and how we each have a right to practice religion and have freedom of speech, but what will I teach you when people use their freedom of speech to talk about how much they hate groups of people based on their religion?

How can I explain that some families don’t get to be together anymore because their babies were taken from this world too soon by a mass-shooting? How can I teach you how much that child’s mommy will suffer missing her baby who died too soon?

These lessons will be very hard and confusing to understand, and when the day comes, I won’t have perfect answers for you, but I do want to teach you that you can live your life from a place of love, respect, and equality. You can be a leader on the playground from a very young age and we can make change happen.

Each day I teach you love, and let’s do that some more.

Someday, when you start to notice these tragic topics in conversations, on the TV, or in social feeds, you’ll see how they make Mommy sad and you will have questions. I’m thankful that I still have some time to come up with the answers I’ll give you because these things confuse Mommy too.

I do want to be realistic with you. There is pain in the world – pain that I hope you never feel, but I want you to understand it. I want you to see very clearly the difference between love and hate, inequality and equality, and life and death. These opposing sides will help me show you how to makes sense of the world even though sometimes things are not fair and people act on motives that are incomprehensible.

So, although I don’t have perfect answers for why these things happen, I want you to remember what Mommy has taught you – to live your life from a place of love, to love and cherish life and the uniqueness of each person, and to try to understand what you can learn and do from a situation that might be painful or confusing. I hope that your love will be a shining light in a sometimes dark and confusing world.

Love always,


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Annabelle is a guest writer, speaker, community builder, and Business Coach who has guided hundreds of business owners to grow sustainable businesses that fulfill their core life desires. She uses business as a tool for freedom and full expression of one's self and uses her innate ability to understand when people have blocks in their way of exuding their true self. She is an advocate for thoughtful leadership within society. And she helps business owners mold into the leaders they are meant to be. Annabelle resides in San Francisco, CA with her husband and young son. She offers private coaching and online courses as well as an in-person Mompreneur Support Circle at the local SF Main Street Mamas. Learn more at


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