Wow. What a week. I spent my Friday studiously avoiding all media. I am thankful to a dear friend for providing the space and time to get together to watch our kids wreak havoc and to chat amidst the chaos, temporarily forgetting what was going on in the outside world.
I also took my kids on a small spree of sorts at the Goodwill…we bought a stack of books. I could think of no better way to sate my desire to ’emotion spend’, then to spend it on books ( I was not in the mood to resist spending). I also had my eldest select a book she thought was great (and might want for herself), to give to her friend. I want to start to instill in my kids a sense of generosity…though how effective such lessons truly are at this stage of their life when everything is only about them remains to be seen.
And then, the next day, I marched.
I woke up Saturday feeling out of sorts. I had this feeling that once again I would be all talk and no action, that I would let this march pass me by. I have never been to a march. But I have also never felt so galvanized to participate. I also felt frozen with trepidation about whether or not such an event would be safe for my family, would there be irrationally angry people threatening the safety of all? This is America land of the free and the gun toting, would we be gunned down (these are the extreme fears I now have as a mom)? I will forever be grateful to my sister-in-law for calling me up and saying “hey, wanna go to the march?” Her calm and confidence that this was obviously something we could consider doing was freeing. Suddenly it felt possible. Suddenly I didn’t feel frozen. And so I ran the idea past my toddler to see if she was interested and she was…so we went about the business of digging out as much pink clothing as we could find…which wasn’t too hard for her given her recent interest in that color…but a little tougher for me.
I didn’t forget about the vigilance I would have to have, the spidey senses I would need to engage. I tagged my toddler lest she got lost. We started on the periphery and never got to deeply into the crowd. However, pretty soon, I began to feel at ease. It was amazing. It was what all such gatherings should be: positive, full of love and acceptance, and safe. The police were smiling and fully supportive. It was the best possible experience.
I don’t know what my three year old thought of the whole thing. On the walk there she slept in my pack. For the gathering and march she alternated between my carrier and shoulders. She had a scowl on her face…the expression she wears when she is taking things in and processing it. I don’t know how much she will have understood from it, but it felt good that we were there together, participating in something historical and significant and meaningful. My first step out of petrified stasis. I have yet to figure out how I will stay engaged, but I will. I must.
As for spending, well, the small book splurge was valid I think.
And as for future spending, I want to actually put my dollars into some organizations that will be essential to us in the next four years. I just need to do a bit more research.
And that’s all folks.
Love and hope.