We rise

“We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise.” – Alicia Keys

This post is fresh and raw and not very well curated at all. Obviously.

But I wanted to get it down while here, in Washington, D.C., with my amazing daughter. And my amazing sister-In-law and niece, and hundreds of thousands of other people marching today to send a message to America’s 45th president and those who elected him- we are not okay with this, this is not normal, and we are not going to go quietly. We’re not.

When we decided in December to come here, we were hesitant- safety for our girls ranking highest in our concerns.

And yet having the opportunity, no, responsibility, to expose them to these issues, to teach them what values we needed to stand for and protect, to set the example by taking steps and shouting out that love and kindness were the way forward. And hate, sexism, bigotry, and racism had no place in our world. And sure as fuck had no place in the world of our daughters. Our sons. No way. No how. No.

I have never been in a setting with this many people. Before arriving we had written down safety number cards for the girls. We debated using sharpies to put phone numbers on the girls’ arms. We drilled it into their heads to be careful, to always ‘have a hand’, to let us know if they felt unsafe at all at any point. We were nervously excited. But we did have fear. And we were given well wishes of family and friend to ‘have fun. Be safe.’

I can’t count how many ‘oh, I’m sorry. You go ahead’ exchanges happened today. Hundreds of thousands of committed and inspired and determined and ‘not going anywhere’ people all graciously aware of our common space and purpose. And making room for each and every one of us to have a voice and a presence today.

It’s also important to note that the original ‘plan’ for today evolved. The route morphed and merged and kind of went all over. Because there were so many people. So many more people than expected.

Never ever will we forget this. We are inspired.

And we were nowhere near the celebrities who spoke at the ralley before the actual march- we didn’t stand a chance due to the crowds. Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Moore, Alicia Keys, Madonna…(the friends from Sacramento that we made at the bar after the March filled us in on the details…!). But we heard the cheers and were held together by the cheering around as as we waited for the movement.

But it can’t stop here. We need to continue to hear the words on the signs today. We need to take those words and participate. We need to continue to stand up, to take steps, to speak up, to protect our rights  and our children’s rights.

The son of the new National Security Advisor tweeted something along the lines of ‘yes, they already have equal pay and equal jobs. What more do they want? Free mani and pedis?’ Horrific and offensive. And exactly what  we are not going to be ok with.

And finally- today I had to/ got to (?) explain to meaning of the word ‘Pussy’ to my daughter. Didn’t ever imagine that happening in a positive, powerful way. Especially at the age of 7. But fuck it. It’s on. Let’s do this lady. Pussy hats ordered from Etsy while having our celebratory beers and fries.