My sweet girl
This is for you.

You have watched me
For your entire life.

Your life has just begun
I have benefit of experience.

I should know better
I should do better.

We take selfies
We laugh together.

I pick up the phone
I pick up the phone.

Snap, snap, snap
More photographs.

Looking down
Where did you go?

You are off playing
While I play on my phone.

I’m posting photos of us
For you to see later.

I’d rather leave memories
Than some photograph.

My sweet girl
I must have slipped.

The reason you’re here
Is because I had healed.

I wanted to share that online
I succumbed to online addiction.

Sharing those photos
Spending way too much time.

It kept me from you
For far, far too long.

I have shut it off
I will put it down.

You will not grow up
Watching me on that phone.

You will grow up
Knowing I love to play.

With you on the floor
Experiencing all kinds of joy.

I am so sorry,
I am so sorry.

You are only two
You might not remember.

I will tell you
I promise to warn you.

My advice for social media?
Stay the hell away from it.

It is a toxic, terrifying world
That nothing good comes out of.

If you want accolades
I will give them to you daily.

I will like you in real life
Offering love and commentary.

One day you will ask
For your own smartphone.

Wondering why
I stay away from mine.

I will guide you then
When the time comes.

Reminding you of danger
How I was once addicted.

How it perpetuated me
Further down a negative hole.

Spiraling my mental health
To where I almost lost it again.

Death, destruction and tragedy
Filling up my news-feed.

Death, destruction and tragedy
Filling up my mind.

It is empty now
It feels so, so good.

It will only get better
The longer I am away.

Accumulating peacefulness
Instead of online garbage.

It was alternative media
Now it is just a shadow.

Of the same stuff on TV
Repeating terror every day.

Because of you
I refuse to give up.

Because of you
I am reminded I didn’t.

Because of you
I will try to heal again.

Please, learn from me
Learn from my mistakes.

Lead through your actions
Not some self-righteous posts.

Lead with your morals
Knowing what is right and wrong.

Lead with the faith
That there are still good people.

Even though the bad ones
Are increasingly visible online.

My sweet girl
I will not let them touch you.

I will keep you informed
About the goings-on around us.

Do not rely on others
Second-hand garbled viewpoints.

It is my job as a parent
To teach you to respect others.

Not to feel pressured online
By some strangers you meet.

Racism and bullying
Are products of hate.

Racism and bullying
Are about to be disintegrated.

It starts with you and I
My sweet baby girl.

We will not stand
For racial injustice.

We will not stand
For online bullying campaigns.

We will not stand
For anything less than equality.

I will teach you better
To treat others like your equal.

Despite the fact that some
May think much differently.

My sweet, baby girl
Thank you for existing.

Reminding me of innocence
What it means to be a human being.

Your hugs and your kisses
Charge me with new meaning.

Reminding me that we’re good
And that love grows good people.

It is for you
It will always be for you.

Kaila A. Notto

Copyright © The Mindful Millwright 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Published by The Mindful Millwright

Kaila A. Notto

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