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Face of a Black baby with his cheeks in his hands
Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Lately I’ve been thinking about what I would want to pass on to my child if I had one. This is a letter to that baby.

Dear Baby, 

I love you! That’s first and foremost. 

I want you to know that you are your own person. I want to instill this fact into your being so you never depend on anyone. Even me. 

The world is cruel and you will find out in your peculiar way how cruel it can be. 

I’d advise you to shield yourself from this cruelty with kindness, love, gentleness and patience. 

Your father had a harder time because no one advised him of this as I am doing for you now, but you deserve this advantage. 

Love is difficult, child, but I would urge you to seek it. True love is the goal, but it will take time, and there is a lot to learn before you find it. I have faith in you! 

When it comes to hearsay and the teachings of others, Baby, I ask that you question the spirits. Don’t take anyone’s word at face value. Even mine. 

Seek the truth, and if it proves to be true, humbly thank the person who taught you.

Stay loyal. Learn that word and embed it into your brain. Burn it into your psyche.

Loyalty will be the difference between life and death in some instances, and you must come equipped with a heavy dose of it to overcome demise. 

Karma. Honor it, Baby. 

It will see you through if you can keep the scale tipped in the favor of goodness. 

You may not understand this until you are older, but honor yourself. Honor your lover. 

Treat them with the respect in mind, body and spirit that you would expect. 

Love is an eternal union. It is pleasurable but is also a very serious contract with external ramifications and everlasting consequences at hand. 

I’ll be writing you letters throughout your life, and this is just a test run to see how I’ll do. 

So, how’d I do? Lol. 

I guess I’ll end with the most important thing, what I started with first (and foremost): I love you.


Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Antwain Love is a writer incarcerated in California.