I am outraged.
I promise I am very, very outraged.
But I couldn’t march tonight because like most parents, 6pm – 9pm is not ‘after work’ it’s just the start of the next shift, the hardest one, where food must be presented to small mouths and baths must be run for small bodies and stories must be read to small, emerging minds.
I wish I could have protested in my city tonight, I really do, but my kids can’t do crowds and it’s very dark and very cold and their Dad’s away for a month so I’m on my own and the trams will be rammed and the anger will be loud and how will I organise dinner for them?
I wish I could change the world tonight. I’ve read all the people on twitter today telling me that history will judge me, that I’ll be asked by my grown children, what did you do when the world was threatened, when reason and law were abandoned, when history repeated itself only this time in front of your facebook-soaked eyes?
I know that when they ask me, what did you do, I will have to tell them that I made the dinner and loaded the dishwasher, that I cleaned the clothes and read the stories like I did every other day of their childhoods because the resistance was rising when I couldn’t leave the house.
It gone 9pm now and I imagine the protesters are heading home. They’ve posted the pics of their banners and their might and they’ve chanted and protested and existed. And I’ve spent the last three hours being with my kids and not being with my country or even my friends who found babysitters or had the kind of kids who could stand in the noise.
Youngest drank Shloer straight from the bottle…
And eldest ate the bad stir-fry I made because I was distracted by not being able to protest. And over the bad stir-fry she told me about how at other times in history when everything was falling apart, there were plays about it and books and art and how that’s another way to resist…
When we look back and they ask me, what did you do, I’ll tell them I kept them safe and warm and fed, that I listened to them and told them about how standing up to bullies is right. I’ll tell them they drank Shloer from the bottle at bedtime and talked revolutionary art.
If like me, you’re stuck at home tonight, full of protest and nowhere to go with it, you haven’t let anyone down. Raise your kids with compassion. Teach them to listen and to understand. Be the opposite of ignorant or indifferent.
The resistance can happen right now in our homes. It’s just being juggled with doing the dishwasher and tomorrow’s lunchboxes and wondering how the FUCK youngest knows the code for downloading games on the ipad…