The past few days have been a perfect storm of emotions. I've also been thinking a lot about my dad, as he died on Jan 22, 2012.
Friday was inauguration day and I'm sick at heart that this is what our republic has chosen. I'm still confident that my father, a lifelong Republican and deeply decent man, would have found it abhorrent that this is the best candidate that his party could produce -- and that the American people fell for this man's "alternate facts." I had this on my mind as I drove my kids home from school. Lucia, my four-year-old daughter, was singing "This Land is Your Land," and my heart smiled at how her 60-something-year-old ex-hippie TK teacher, Ms. Baker, had incorporated the subversive messages of one of my favorite rabble rousers, Woody Guthrie, in the classroom. Lucia then piped up about the civics lesson Ms. Baker had taught that day. She excitedly told me about the Supreme Court and "the two Houses, I forget what they are called." Then, she floored me. She told me "President Trump is the boss, we are the big boss. We the people are his boss and decide if he keeps his job." The simple truth brought a smile to my face.
Saturday was a blend of exhilaration and relief, as the kids, Leo, and I all participated in the Women's March. We opted to participate with the kids, in spite of warnings about provocateurs, but stuck to the edge of the crowd, made sure each child knew to find a mommy if s/he got lost, and had our phone numbers inside their clothing. In the end, it was a beautiful day, despite the rain. The parade ended with the kids playing in the park with hundreds of other children, including the two other families that joined us at the parade. It felt really wonderful to spend the day with our friends and 40,000 other San Diegans, and to come away with a renewed sense of hope after an electoral season that left me jaded and disheartened. Although I know my dad wouldn't have marched with us, family was in the mix as I saw photos of my sister, her in-laws, and extended family all marching in their respective cities.
Sunday was spent helping Sebastian get his visual aids together for his first oral presentation. He's a shy kid and was dreading this in a big way. After a few tantrums this weekend, he finally collapsed in a sobbing heap after confessing "I'm too shy to do this!" I felt like sobbing, too. But once I asked if he wanted my help to do well on it, he got excited to work on it, to go the library and get pictures to copy, and to make his presentation board. It was incredibly gratifying to see him get very comfortable after practicing his 60-second speech on trains about 5 or 6 times that day. By the end, he had great eye contact, incorporated the visual aids nicely, and used vocal variety. More importantly, by Monday morning, he was confident and excited to give his speech to his classmates.
Today, Lucia brought home some school drawings she made last week and today. I was so moved by the "This land is made for We the People!" drawing below that I teared up, having a private, maudlin moment of wonder and gratitude. Gratitude for her honest heart, for her old hippie teacher who cultivates her mind and sense of justice, and for her belief that her land is as beautifully multicultural as her classroom is. I'm certain my dad would also share my sense of pride in this fact. I'm confident because his highest compliment to me at my wedding reception was a speech where he shared how proud he was of the woman I'd become and the diverse friends I'd surrounded myself with -- a sea of rainbow faces, my lesbian friends jitterbugging on the dance floor, and my own choice of a partner with a background so different than my own. Yes, I'm sure that Popi would also have found himself with misty eyes if he were to have seen Lucia's drawing.