I mean, really.
Am I impacting anything?
Is this affecting change?
Why spend the time and energy marching?
Is there any real hope for the future?
Last Friday night I was wiped out. After a long week I was ready to phone it in for the weekend and just chill when our eight year old, Chloe, came running up to our bedroom.
“Mom! It’s time to make signs for my first real protest march!”
And as moms do…I gathered what was left of my energy and grabbed all the pens and cardboard I could find. The next morning I was taking our 8 year old, Chloe, our 13 year old we affectionately call D, my 16 year old niece Katherine and our 22 year old Jessie to the Los Angeles Women’s March in solidarity with a coalition of women’s organizations across the United States to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy.
And because we know that women will determine this election.
Saturday morning we headed out to join hundreds of women in Los Angeles and thousands of women across the United States to have our voices be heard, our clever signs be seen and to use our constitutional right to peacefully assemble for change. It was also a day I will never forget as Chloe’s first march.
Halfway through the march, a group near us started chanting “This is what democracy looks like!” Being Chloe’s first march she was a little surprised but then she looked up at me with wild, untamed, female eyes full of hope, fierce power and energy, half looking for permission to join and half warning me it was about to go down and then screamed at the top of her little girl lungs from under her covid mask “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” It was as though a match was lit deep in her belly that forced her voice out, loud and proud with a burning desire to make sure it was not only heard but headed.
And in that two second exchange I knew EXACTLY why we march.
It’s been said that to do the work of activism you must allow that you may never see the end result and the mighty “They” may very well beat you in your lifetime. But that IS the work. Knowing that the generation behind us is coming up strong, taking the mantle and will reap the benefit of our work if only to gather our momentum in order to carry on and get the work done.
In her little girl eyes I saw hope. I saw determination. I saw a fierce wildness of a girl yet to be tamed into how she should look, what her body needs to be, how bold or how demure she is supposed to be to fit in the mold of what society prefers girls to be. I saw me at eight years old, struggling to even recognize I had a voice of my own. I saw every little girl who was told to be nice, be quiet, be seen and not heard while wanting to scream from the inside out.
And I saw my little girl.
Standing for something.
Unabashedly and without censoring herself or allowing herself to be held back.
And it was electric.
For both of us.
THAT is why I march.
I march for change.
I march to express my rage at injustice and inequality.
I march to influence lawmakers and allow my voice to be heard.
I march in solidarity of those who can’t and alongside those who can.
And I march so that she knows what to do and how to do it when I can no longer join her in that march. Because I know she will. And that gives me hope.
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