There are only a handful of hours every week that all four members of our family are together. So if I'm going to take time away, it's going to be spent meaningfully. Last Saturday I marched in the Women's March on Washington. I left to go out and vent political frustrations and personal fears, but mostly to raise my voice for my two daughters, who cannot. Skies were overcast, but the crowd was radiant. The day brimmed with love and dissent, and I was so relieved to discover so many millions of others around the world feel as anxious as I do. "This is the upside of the downside," Gloria Steinem said at the rally. And she's right: despite the unnerving truth that we were protesting a leader with grossly uninformed perceptions of reality, I was having a fantastic time shouting and dancing in the streets surrounded by so many smart and witty and strong and brave and passionate people.
Since their conception, my children have forced me to think beyond the immediate. How is our behavior, how are our decisions going to impact the future? Well, I am grimly vindicated that the country in the hands of a nihilistic narcissist is as scary as I thought it would be: climate change denial, amped up nuclear tensions, limitations imposed on the press, isolationism and xenophobia, spiderwebs of spin and lies, mostly lies. However, I refuse to let anger and fear consume our family these next four years. There is real work ahead and I have a sobered awareness of my obligations to my girls and greater community. But I am also trying to hold room in my heart for love, to be present for all the good that can come in the day-to-day. I am upset, but I know we're some of the lucky ones.
This last week I looked at my phone too often, gave too much attention to the ping of every news alert. I have also not been very good about masking my feelings over the changes in Washington. "Trump has a hard time telling the truth," Cecile declared over breakfast yesterday. While I was bemused my four-year-old can get the facts straighter than our Commander in Chief (I also didn't counter her; sorry, not sorry), I don't think it's entirely fair to expose her to any of this mess. But I'm so frustrated, and some events I read about audibly take my breath away. The kids feel that. It's difficult to be both an informed, active citizen and a good, attentive mother. I want to do more, on all fronts. I must contribute to the world I want more of, starting at home and branching outward.