So today, my strong and spunky girl, I promise you this: I will stay vigilant and flexible. I will spread the word.

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Julie Hantman
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Dear Lila

Yesterday our family spent Mother’s Day afternoon at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Georgetown. Whenever Dad and I looked away for a moment, your mischievous 4-year-old self tore off along some garden path. Up some winding stairway. Eager to lose sight of us, laughing as we lost sight of you.

Fortunately the garden was full of other moms also enjoying Mother’s Day. “Did you lose a little girl?” called a concerned mom and grandma from under a rose arbor, as we rushed past. “She went that way!” and “Are you the mom to a little girl named Lila?” asked another mom, pointing the way you went. Clearly she had spoken to you, she was going to help reunite us, before you broke free again.

Running into all those nice vigilant moms kept me calm.

No doubt you’ve heard this story already. But what a great punch line, right? The first place you ever got lost was a beautiful walled-in garden full of helpful moms.

The world hasn’t stayed such a rosy place for your exploits, I’m sure. From my perch here in 2016 I see thorns down every path. A world on the precipice. A world beginning to unravel – although still too invisibly to trigger the loud alarm that ought to be ringing in everyone’s ear. We are animals and our habitat is threatened. Let’s flee or fight!

As you know, your momma spent a lot of time when you were small, working alongside the vigilant moms of Moms Clean Air Force. We are fighting to awaken even more moms and dads to come help protect our habitat from climate change.

Moms are built to protect kids, whether theirs or someone else’s. Whether it’s a garden, or a planet.

Here’s how your momma and her friends are fighting: we rally, we sing, we dance, we lobby, with kids in tow. We are fighting for our lives by fighting from within our lives, waving the flag of our lives: the children we love. That’s you.

By the time you’re reading this, some terrible effects of climate change may already have crashed down on you and your world. What I dread most is you losing hope. People need habitat AND hope. I grew up with hope. You need it, too. Hope is everything.

When I got pregnant with you, I made an unspoken promise to reassure and protect you.

So today, my strong and spunky girl, I promise you this: I will stay vigilant and flexible. I will spread the word. Seek game-changing opportunities. Help sound that loud alarm, and all the little alarms that we need too.

I will make all necessary costume changes. I can be Anna and Elsa, whole-hearted and fierce.

And I promise to love you, and to always find the time to revel in my mommy life with you, no matter what. This I promise you today.

Love,
Momma

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