Tuesday, March 31, 2015


We take the kids to the Y on Tuesday evening almost every week. Nico has a half-hour private swim lesson and I try to get Elliott to practice swimming skills with me for at least fifteen minutes of that time. MB takes N through the men's changing room and gets him dressed, and I take E into the women's with me. He usually spends the time after his post-swim shower running around in his wearable towel, chatting with anyone who will listen while I get dressed. Last week, there were a half-dozen ladies changing after an aquacise class while we were getting dressed to go home. E ran around and chatted with some of them, they joked that they were ready to put on their pajamas. It was one of those times when the shared-jokes togetherness of a crowd feels inclusive and happy rather than awkward and odd-one-out, if that makes sense. And then, as I laid E on the bench to put him in his diaper and footie pjs, he started to sing the ABCs and the whole locker room joined in. Ladies of the YMCA changing room, you are what's right with the world.

There was a peaceful rally organized in town on Monday to protest the ridiculous new Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law last week. (Summary here for those who don't follow George Takei on facebook.) After some thought, I decided to take the kids to the rally, even though they're too young to truly understand why we went. I settled on telling Nico, "We are here because we believe everyone should be treated fairly," and "It's not fair to be mean to someone just because they're different from us." Other than one guy, the crowd was friendly and polite, and wonderfully diverse. Dozens of drivers honked and waved or gave thumbs-up as they drove by. People were really sweet to the kids. I'm very glad we went, even if Nico mostly seemed to think we were there for a fun picnic and has been asking when we can go on another picnic.

I recently friended one of the other moms from Nico's preschool class on facebook, after finding out her very sweet daughter is in the same public school district as we are and will therefore be going to Nico's elementary school next fall. The two of them showed up at the protest, too, so you can imagine my joy at discovering I managed to make school-friends with another social justice-leaning liberal. At one point N and his school friend and another little boy were running around with sidewalk chalk, drawing lines and maps to X marks the spot. A woman came over to the X at the end of their line and put some money down, and told them it was their treasure. Come on, now. Nicest political protesters of all time.

It was pretty great to have my faith in people's general goodness and generosity of spirit confirmed many times over in the wake of a week of frustration about the appalling new law. Sometimes it feels like the universe knows when some balance is dearly needed.

Reading:  (just finished) I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Playing: this song, whenever my kids aren't around requesting their beloved Sesame Street album again:

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