To my daughter, on her Thirtieth Birthday

Dear Aya, you are thirty years old when you are reading this, not nineteen months. You are not a little toddler anymore. You know how to ride a bike, like a real Dutchie. You no longer clap and scream with excitement whenever you see cats or birds; you just smile nostalgically. And you know how to talk, read, do math and all those other Important Grownup Things.

You have experienced a lot things. Both beautiful and sad. Good and bad. You’ve learned quite a bit about how the world works. I should know, because I am writing this on my thirtieth birthday.

You grew up with two gay moms. You don’t know any better than that this is normal. But there once was a time when this wasn’t the case. When you were little there were a lot of people who thought it was weird. Or disgusting even. It’s hard to imagine now. Just like it’s hard to imagine for me that my mom was ten years old when black Americans finally got the same rights as white Americans.

The world has changed when you are reading this. Everyone thinks it’s completely normal now: two mamas and a baby. Or two papas and a baby. Or two mamas and two papas and a baby. Or a mama who becomes a papa. Or a papa who becomes a mama. It doesn’t matter anymore, because we finally understand what it’s really about. That it’s not about sexuality, but about love. It took us a while, but we finally know what’s truly important.

When you are thirty, there have been multiple female presidents of the United States. In fact, the world is experiencing the first black female in the most powerful office of the world. You don’t know any better than that this is normal: women, running the world. We are all agreeing this has led to fewer wars, less violence, equal rights, guaranteed safety and education for women across the world and a cleaner environment. The glass ceiling, Trump and terrorists are distant memories; sad chapters in schoolbooks. Because in the end they were shattered into pieces by the most powerful force of all: Love.

Of course, there are things that haven’t changed. For starters, Beyoncé is still the Queen. You still clap and scream with excitement whenever you see grandma. And I still love you more than anything in the entire world.

Thanks for reading

0 thoughts on “To my daughter, on her Thirtieth Birthday

  1. Lieve jarige dochter,

    Wat een mooie column heb je voor Aya geschreven. Ontroerende beschrijving van een wereld waar we allemaal heel hard aan moeten werken.

    Ik zal er mijn best voor (blijven) doen.


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