Over the last few months and I'm assuming that over the next four years, our country will be inundated with vitriol over political leanings and who voted for who. This blog, for the most part is a safe zone from that. I emphasize "for the most part", because, as I don't talk about politics, it is sometimes important to me to talk about reaction to politics. To me, a good portion of the time, it isn't as much what you believe, it's how you respond. Today, my friends, is one of those days.
A few days ago, my wife told me that she was thinking of going to the Women's March in Denver. She was torn as the family doesn't get to spend all of the time together that we'd like, between work and school and activities and everything else that life tosses at you, but she also thought it important for our daughters to see her go make her voice heard. To be honest, I didn't mind her going, but I had questions about what good it would do. Going into inauguration day, she was still a touch undecided.
I thought back to a time with Avery, my oldest. She was attending preschool, for reasons that will become evident later, I'll call the school We Are Non-Darwinian Kids (WANK) in the spirit of not painting a local learning institution with a broad brush.
NOTE: I feel like it's important to note here that I truly don't care what anyone believes. So long as what you believe doesn't step on the people around you, I don't particularly care if you think the world is flat and the moon is cheese. It's your life, have fun.
So my daughter came from WANK one afternoon, She was all of four years old and she has always had a mind like a steel trap. She was bouncing around pretty good and had a question she was dying to ask me.
"Daddy? When you were a kid, did you live with the dinosaurs?"
No red flags went up with the question. "No sweetheart, I didn't ever live with the dinosaurs."
"How about Grandma?"
My gut instinct was to make a joke then, as it is now, that Grandma predated the dinosaurs, but I'm a parent now and therefore was a little more straight forward. "No sweetheart, no people ever lived with the dinosaurs. They died out long before people ever lived here."
"But Mrs. Faith said that the people and the dinosaurs lived together."
My cockles went up slightly, but tried to tell myself that they had read a book that had kids with pet dinosaurs or the like, but she continued.
"They lived together five thousand years ago until all of the dinosaurs went away." she explained.
Then I found myself explaining, in explicit detail, that Mrs. Faith was absolutely wrong and that dinosaurs and people never lived together. I found myself truly upset, not because of what Mrs. Faith believed and that my beliefs ran counter, I was upset that she had used a preschool platform to offer her point of view on a topic that, at very, very best, the science is still out on.
Avery's school year was about over and my wife was of the opinion that I should let sleeping dogs lie. I tried for at least fifteen minutes to do just that and then found myself in the car on my way to talk to Mrs. Faith. Long story slightly less long, by the time I was finished, I was in front of Mrs. Faith and Mrs. Knuckle, the principal, explaining my position. I was told that I was wrong and that parents do not dictate the curriculum. I retorted, in a less than calm fashion that perhaps getting their collective heads removed from their collective posteriors would be a good place to start. We arrived at an impasse and they questioned whether or not Avery should go to the preschool graduation. I offered that she would be just as happy at Chucky Cheese that day and that using Avery as a bargaining chip was less than enlightened way to win their argument. At the end of the day, Avery went to the graduation, somewhat to my chagrin.
So the lesson here, ladies? Well there are a few of them. The whole thing reminds me of a Dylan Thomas quote.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
It relates to getting old, but it applies here, too. If something is truly bothering you, stand up and make yourself heard. Sure, what I did at WANK probably didn't change a thing, but I can sleep just a little better having raised my voice. The same goes for mommy and her march. She showed you that if there is an injustice, do something. Don't listen to the voices that tell you to 'get over it', and there will be plenty of them. Find a way to let the powers that be know where you stand. Stand up and be counted. Going to Facebook and complaining about it is akin to farting in a closet, it makes you feel better in the short term, but at some point people will stay away in droves. The second thing is that you can do anything you want in life. Being a girl has no bearing on that. It's what's in your noodle and what's in your heart that counts. Be good to people and bust your tail and you'll wind up on the right side of things most of the time. Finally, if you are waffling on whether or not your voice will even count, try it. Mommy had doubts about whether or not going to the march would do a bit of good, and in the grand scheme, maybe it did and maybe it didn't, but it did have a unforeseen benefit. Surrounding yourself with a couple of hundred thousand like minded, compassionate people offered a little bit of hope, and a little hope, girls, goes a long way.