Around 1 p.m. today, my daughter came up to me while I was at my computer and asked what the big exclamation point on my map was about.

She's 5.

I was on Google Maps and I wanted to know where Uvalde, Texas was located.

“It's the site of an elementary school.”

“But why is there an exclamation point?”

“It's just showing the location, honey.”

“But why is it red?”


“Some people got hurt today and the exclamation point is showing where that was.”


"Mommy, can I show you how to make wishes?”

Me, drying my eyes, and thinking this is a better thing than following the news at the moment.

“Sure babe.”

She takes this little mason jar she has filled with glow-in-the-dark stars. She “charged” them up and they're ready to go.

She takes me to the closet in my bedroom where we shut the door and she puts them into the darkest corner where the light from the bottom the door reaches the least.

And then, she starts to instruct me on how to make wishes.

“Can I wish for the kids who got hurt sweetie?”

“Yes, mama.” She says.

She has a process. She tells me she invented it when she was two, but didn't have the jar until recently so now it's even better.

She says to close our eyes.

She says that we are like a satellite dish and our wishes are first beamed into the jar of glow in the dark stars, which is the second satellite dish.

From there the wishes are beamed to the heavens, which are the third satellite dish. From there, the wishes get sent out everywhere to the people we wished them for.

She breathes in and out slowly, intentionally, the air going into the jar.

She says we can sing or whistle our wishes too.

The tears are streaming down my face while she so lightly explains the process to me, then tells me that we can send wishes to the kids who got hurt at the elementary school, and that prompts her to send them to her Pre-K class, her teachers, her ballet class, her martial arts class. Then she says we can send them to her brothers classes and friends. Then she adds we should add her brother himself because without him she wouldn't have this great jar for the wishes. Then she explains how he gave her the jar.

She goes on to tell me that we can also send wishes to the buildings we're in, like where we live, to say thank you and send love, because without it we wouldn't have this nice place to live. That makes her think of the workers who built the place we live in and she sends them wishes and love too.

She's instructing me to focus my wishes, and my love, from my heart, to the jar, for it to go to the heavens, and then to all the people, places, and things.

I'm going to sit in my closet, and wish into the jar, for our humanity, our culture, to make the wishes and send the love for us to be the change and to have the courage we all need to take real action, so that my daughter, your kids, these kids, inherit a world where the wishes and love have a path forward worth bearing out.