This week I awoke to realize this may be a marvelous time to be a parent. I mean this time, the one where political divisions run rampant, where protests and rallies have become the norm, where known science is questioned, and where we seem to be facing threats to our inequalities and our justice head on.
My boys have their eyes wide open.
Early Thursday morning I flew home from a speaking event in Oregon. I was a little bit exhausted and only had about 15 minutes to swing through my house prior to heading to the hospital for some meetings and an afternoon of podcasting. When I walked into the kitchen I found a little tube waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Our poster had arrived! Thrill coursed through me as I uncurled it and ran to the front yard.
It’s the sign you see here now gracing our front yard. It’s the sign I picked out with my boys a couple weeks ago online after a friend shared the one she’d put up. It’s the one the boys and I selected because of the poetry we felt it held, but also the power that lifted from it. In this house we have no interest in hiding how we feel. The boys have watched the pink hats get knit, the signs being painted, and the work to continue to protect our neighbors, friends, immigrants, and family of the United States that we hold so dear.
And so it was not just the platter of ideas that embody respect, liberty, and truths on this little sign that I got excited about it. It’s my boys own insight that unfolded Thursday — without me — that has me sharing here. Their pledge to the world, too.
Thursday evening I didn’t return home until after my boys had come home from school and headed out to their sports and music lessons. I didn’t get to show them the sign had arrived that I giddily put up immediately. And so by the time we reunited at home after that long day, just before bedtime, I was surprised by what happened next.
I asked my 10 year-old if he’d see our sign in the front yard. He said, “Yes, Mommmmmmy, we did. And you know what?” …. “What?” I asked.
In a whisper he leaned into my ear and said, “We memorized it.” I looked at him straight in the eyes after he did this, as if soul-to-soul anew, as he continued in that sweet boy whisper, “Mommy, in this house, we believe that black lives matter, women’s rights are human rights, no human is illegal, science is real, love is love, kindness is everything….”
My baby did that. Thursday afternoon, all on his own amid a flurry of regular Thursday things. He held up his ideas, plopped prose into his memory bank and pledged an allegiance we might never have had the chance to discover without this torrid time.
Perhaps this is the most marvelous time to be a parent after all.