To say that I was very proud to see the child I sent to D.C. last week return would be an understatement. Rocking her newest HRC t-shirt and barely able to keep her eyes open, she ran out to greet us full of a glow that could hardly be contained. Aside from the cool "I get to lobby Congress for a return of sex ed to schools" stuff, she was inspired, energized and feeling so much hope from the core of her being. It was a great and wonderful thing to see given that in her absence, I have had more arguments and debates with people over health care reform this week than ever in my life. I am a bit shocked that it has served to draw a line in the sand, making people say things they can not take back, and making me stand and take the barrage as I have. I am used to this. Looking at this child rattle off all the amazing experiences she had I also think, wow, she is gonna have an uphill battle. For people that don't work in a political or activist arena, it is hard to grasp, but for us left wingers, its brutal. She mets some Tea Party folks whom she describes as having "the worst energy" and really creeped her out. I tell her they won't be the first of many intense opposition groups she will encounter. They will tell her that people she loves will go to hell because they are gay, they will tell her feeding the hungry and giving shelter to those in need is not important if they have to pay more taxes to do it, they will tell her that sex education is not a priority and kids should listen to their parents. It will hurt. It will almost break her some days, how I have pushed through this long I just cant really figure out on my worst days. Then she tells me something...for a change, she shocks me:
She keeps talking, they were invited to participate in a Passover Seder, she asks if I will take her to a Buddist temple ceremony, says she thinks she is going to take some Theology classes as electives. She wants to travel and meet more people from other cultures. She keeps talking but I am stuck on one thing she said:
All of my babies have been walking blocks and stuffing envelopes since they were knee-high to a grasshopper so to speak. Middle Monkey is the only one so far that wants to seize this life as part of her own. I am worried for her but at the same time so confident that she gets it. You go girl! I will be right here to help stuff your envelopes and walk your blocks. :)
Today is a great day in America. Let's hope for more fired up teens doing grassroots organizing in their communities. It is the way to ensure a permanent shift in the priorities of this country and certainly, it's what I pray for every day.
Peace and chicken grease!
"Mom, I think this whole experience has just strengthened my faith. We are doing what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to take care of people."