January 20, 2017

Why we march: A letter to my daughter

Dear Evie,

When you live through an important time in history, you carry it for the rest of your life. You will tell people what it was like. They will ask what you did, even if you were only a kid.

I'm afraid we are living in those times, and here’s where we start. 

We are showing up at the state capitol tomorrow morning, where we will walk with our arms linked and our heads high, holding signs that express our fierce commitment to a better America.

It’s going to rain. We will be cold. We will spend a lot of time waiting in traffic and standing in crowds.

I will bring an umbrella for you. I will hold your hand in the crowd, which will hopefully be large, but probably smaller than the State Fair. In the unlikely case that people get rowdy or mean, I’ll steer you to safety.

You’ll be exposed to adult language, as we learned when I was Googling sign ideas and you looked over my shoulder. I hate that I had to explain to you what sexual assault has to do with the president, and why a person would carry a sign to point out that her body is her own. “Isn’t it obvious?” you asked.

That conversation, awkward as it was, convinced me that we should march together.

Protecting you and keeping you safe is an important part of being your mom, but it’s not the real job. My real job is to send you out into the world as an informed, caring, and brave person. The kind of person who will make this world better.

We won’t make any new laws or get a new president just for showing up.

But, God willing, we will get a few things: The comfort that we’re not alone in our concern for America’s future. The strength that comes from walking alongside others. New friends and new ideas for where we can show up next, make our voices heard, and drive change in our community. The most memorable social studies lesson of your fourth grade year.

Hot cocoa. We will absolutely, definitely get hot cocoa.



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