A year ago, I attended the Women’s March in Washington, DC with my sisters and daughter. I’ve participated in demonstrations in my younger years, but this one felt drastically different. Apart from being in complete awe at the sheer mass of people participating, there was a moment that stuck in my mind. We were crossing the street when an aggressive driver deliberately accelerated his car towards the crowd, cutting people off at a crosswalk, evidently angry at our presence that day.
A younger me would have likely freaked the f-out and shouted obscenities at the guy for spewing hate at a meaningful, and very peaceful, occasion. But the older me held back. Don’t get me wrong, I literally felt my blood boil. But…I had my daughter with me. I had to be the bigger person. It took everything in my body not to react as he sped away. I just stood there, holding her hand, as she looked up at me.
And it felt strange.
Along with getting older, my hope is that I am a strong role model for my daughter. The hardest part of being a Mom is living truth: practicing what I preach. It was easy to feel anger, despair or fear in the moment. But, that angry driver had been upset about something that happened long before we walked into his life. Fighting it, feeding it would have produced nothing of value. There are a thousand other ways to make a difference.
It was hard not to be energized by the multitude and myriad of people that day. But, amid this crowd, there was something I hadn’t seen before. There were a ton of little girls there with their grandmothers and mothers. Grandmothers and mothers, who have likely felt and fought hard against racism, sexism, and injustice, now urging their daughters and granddaughters to join the good fight: a powerful charge to young girls to stand up and tell their own stories, fight for their own values, and find their own power.
Some children are born knowing their own purpose and path in life. My daughter, independent and strong-willed, is one of those children. The thing is, she doesn’t require so much instruction, but more so a loving Mom who will point all her energy in the right direction. Along with giving her life, as a mother, I also give her all my hope. My hope is that she always know there is no limit to a Mother’s love.