In August 2016, after a bunch of pretty severe tummy troubles, just a few days after Ella's first birthday, my dear uncle was diagnosed with cancer at the esophageal/stomach junction. Less than 3 months later, Donald J. Drumpf was elected. 2 weeks later, my uncle died. I haven't been myself since. Both events absolutely shattered me. It felt like 2 deaths, to be honest. One of my first pen pal, who taught me about Picasso & finding your roots, and the other of fundamental human rights in what is supposed to be The Free World.
When the women's march came to fruition across the world in January, we jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I knitted Ella a pussy hat, and Lynne & I stayed up late creating the signs that we would carry. We knew only that we have a responsibility to fight even harder for what is right and good, and what will leave our child the legacy of a world that she is able to live and love in a safe & happy way. And did you SEE those crowds??? HUuuuuuge! Big League! They made Trumpy's Inauguration Day look like, well, what they were: pathetic.
The reality of this election, and its results, has shown that a big ugly scag of bigotry has been ripped off.. and there is puss and it smells really bad. All of the racists, misogynist, homophobes and people who love to use the word "fag" as part of their vernacular were invited to hate openly, and the secret is out: we aren't as safe as we thought we were. As a lesbian, transracial, adoptive family, we cannot leave the state of California. When we travel, we have to be careful.. whatever that means.
I'm told that grief comes in waves, like the ocean.. it ebbs & flows. I feel as calm as sunset some days, and on others, I feel as if I'm drowning in it. My dear uncle is dead, leaving behind 2 small children – one with autism – and Donald Drumpf is holding the title of "leader of the free world", as his very presence destroys the principles which made us great to begin with, standing tall as he destroys anything that will lift up our children.As we continue to watch this shit show of a presidency unfold, my grief continues, sometimes almost consuming me, but so does the knowledge that I must continue to show Ella the world through the lens of an activist. We feel paranoid, and that is a new feeling. I feel naive, and that makes me angry. We have to choose the path of nonviolent resistance.
I am working with a radically inclusive, politically active church, I am writing letters, I'm tweeting and I am talking to my not-yet-2-year-old about our rights and how we must not and WILL NOT BACK DOWN. This isn't "old" or "fake" news. This is the world becoming what it will be for our children. As it stands now, being passive is what got us here. If we want our children to do better, we have to lead by example.
I hope my daughter will be proud of her moms for our work. We are doing it for her and those who will come up with her, like her second cousins. And we show them that when we are faced with times like this, we must learn to swim.
How do you teach your kiddos to be Citizens of the World? Send me a comment.