By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann
We were sitting in the car and I had somehow managed to have NPR on rather than some song about trains on repeat. I have to start being careful, because Isaac is listening and understanding what he is hearing. I don’t remember the context, but on the radio it says “She loves people.”
“Mommy, it said she loves people.”
“Yeah, just like us.”
“But it said she loves people so that means she loves all people.”
“We do love all people.”
“But that means even loving Donald Trump.”
“I do love Donald Trump. That is one of the reasons why we work hard to make sure that he is nicer to people.”
“I am going to help Donald Trump be nicer. I am going to do something really big that will help him be a nicer person.”
“I bet you will.”
A few days later, he said “I am going to write Donald Trump a letter.” I got out some large paper and markers. Isaac just turned four and in the last week, out of the blue, he had started writing. He asked me how to spell words and then he would just do it. He didn’t ask how to make the letters or look at anything, he just started doing. So, I was curious to see how writing a letter would go.
“Ok, what do you want it to say?”
“Dear Donald Trump,
We really need you to be nice and we are going to help you be nice. We really love you and hope you get better soon.
Love, Isaac, Lydia, Erinn, and Cedar”
It took about half an hour, but he beautifully wrote the entire thing. His letters were clear and his attention serious. I sat there quietly through it all naming letters and being blown away by this kid of mine.
I got out a big envelope and put the letter inside. He disappeared into the other room and came back with three trains. “These are for Donald Trump.” He was going to mail the President three of his trains including his original Thomas train which had bite marks on it from two dogs and that Isaac slept with every night for a year. I planned to put that in a box and keep it for him forever. But here he was gifting it in hope of a nicer world. I couldn’t say no to that.
These kids. I don’t really even know what more to write except that I feel such gratitude for the children around us who teach us peace and model how to ask questions, think creatively, give generously, and love everyone.
I would love to see the person who opens this envelope in the White House mail room. I would hope that they would think about niceness. Niceness towards immigrants, Muslims, women, the poor, children, Afghans and Syrians, and the earth. Probably not, but I do know that Isaac gifted his niceness and sent it off into the world and in so doing, he taught me to be a little nicer and he has awaken a deep niceness in himself. All we can do is love one another and throw it out into the world, drop it in the mailbox, hope that it is felt, and then do it again.
3 thoughts on “Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Even Donald Trump”
Lydia, I love this! What a beautiful kid you have.
Good morning, Lydia. I find myself returning to and sharing this post so often. Thank you for your faithfulness and for bringing up and appreciating Isaac so much. Responding late in writing this to you. With love, Lucinda
I will look for train cars for more letters from Isaac.