Over and over again, I learn the things our mothers have taught us. I sit here, today, at my mother’s kitchen table with a cup of tea in hand. My mind has been drifting between the challenges that life is throwing me today and the challenges that lie ahead for our daughters and our sons. Something big is in the air and I can’t help but think about the generations of women that have come before me and wonder if they sat at kitchen tables, thinking, sipping tea and watching, and participating, in the history of their present. Did they feel it? Was it in the air then? And, then? And, then, too?
During the first days of school, when we are all finding our footing and easing into our stride, students learn about me as we create classroom communities of learners, writers, and, hopefully, thinkers. Often, I am asked about my political affiliation. Affiliation. It seems assumed that I must affiliate, fellowship, belong, agree with, partner with, union with… That I must belong to one side or another without consideration of other sides or with consideration of only one side. The one side. Yikes. There are more than two sides to every story and there is also my side. I have a side and it matters. Right? I only reveal my independence and reassure students that I take my civil disobedience and allegiance to thinking very seriously. I love to knit wool, but that does not mean I am a sheep.
During the first days of a newly elected presidency, I hope we are not just marching, but thinking about what happens after the march. In pink Pussy Hats we scampered, gathered, and marched. We were like brides marching toward our future and creating a world for our children to enjoy or endure or survive. Like brides, we were sure of our choices, dressed for the role, and willing to take a risk. The wedding is over, the needles have moved on to new projects, and now it is time to put the march into action, to recognize what is in the air, and finish the job our mothers bequeathed us.
Our mother’s bumper sticker proclaimed that we should question authority. Our bumper sticker promised we could have it all. What will our daughter’s bumper sticker promise?