A little over a week ago, Diana and I took a bus to Washington D.C. to take part in the largest single day protest in our nation’s history. The bus ride itself is worthy of its own blog. Look for “This is what democracy smells like” coming soon to Blogspot.
We didn’t bring Elijah and Luca because we were just ever so slightly concerned about their safety. Mostly because this current administration has yet to prove itself to be measured in their response to literally anything. Plus, I knew they would last exactly 45 steps in the march before turning into 16 month olds, raising their little hands in the air shouting, “Uppie!”
Last weekend, our nation received an utterly baffling Presidential Muslim travel ban and friends of ours protested at O’Hare. I sat the boys down and tried to explain what our friend Hassan was doing, stopping to give a civics lesson about the now trampled Constitution and our duty as citizens and what mommy and I believe in. Eli nodded solemnly and said, “Dad, did you see the Bad Lip Reading video with Hilary Clinton?”
On Sunday morning, Diana became the eye of social media mom anger. We could have fried an egg on her phone. But we would never eat it because phones are dis-gus-ting.
Luca and I were on our way out of the house to run an errand when Diana said, “Be sure to be home by 1:30. We’re going to go march in Morton Grove.” Luca and I backed slowly out of the house.
We came home later to observe the aftermath of Diana delivering the same plan to Eli. He was frantically trying to hatch a way to get out of it. “I’m sick! No! Luca is too young. No! I have plans. Wait, I have to go dig a hole in the yard and bury myself in it.”
Around this time, my pal Patrick texted me his son was also currently holding a march not to attend the march.
I sat Eli down and said, “Look at your mother. See that look in her eye? None of us is getting out of this march. I suggest you put on some warm clothes and deal.” He flopped down on our bed and considered throwing a fit. But then saw the look in his mother’s eye.
After much bitching and moaning and a bribe of chips to eat in the car, we arrived at the Muslim center. It was already too crowded for us to hear any of the speeches, but we didn’t have to wait long until the scheduled “walk.” The organizers were careful not to call it a “march.”
Shortly after it began, Eli’s frigid demeanor about the whole thing softened. He enjoyed the comradery and loved the chanting. He especially liked it when I dad-ly messed the chants up. “Build bridges, not walls” turned to “Build bridges plus narwhals.” Patrick’s son also added his own chant, “Forgetaboutit!” which felt perfect.
Luca went nuts when he saw actual news cameras there to record our march. He couldn’t believe our protest would be on the actual TV. We spent a good portion of the evening checking the local broadcasts for our faces. But the local feed was a “Two and a Half Men” rerun.
I told him that “Two and a Half Men” was a special kind of protest.