I have to hug a four-year-old and help her to make sense of the world around her. I have to do it with a smile. She is watching me, you see, to see how to deal with disappointments.
I scared her a little bit. I was crying. I was actively planning to grab her and leave the country. I started research, where could we live, make a living and then yet return.
This weekend we took her to a movie about Trolls who sing. It was her first movie in a theater and she's glommed onto this song.
That's what we do, we get back up again.
I had practice during infertility. After a failed cycle, I cried and cycled again. After roadblock to roadblock in our adoption of Lotus we did it.
Now she needs to watch me do it. Life is full of disappointments--big and small. Lotus will watch me and see how I act. She has to see me get up. She has to see me go on. She has to see me listen to things that make me physically ill and still defend people's right to say them. She has to see me watch a protest and explain that people have the right to do it. They don't have the right to hurt people.
My daughter is watching. Therefore sometimes I am silent. But I am not still.
This is worse than disappointment. No one has to tell me this is worse. I am viscerally scared--not as scared as some, more than others, but I do know this is worse.
And yet, I calmed down. I'm not saying I don't have an exit plan, but I'm waiting. I'm being quiet and listening. I'm reading what my friends on both sides of debate say. YES, I have friends who voted for Trump. I imagine if they had a blog they would say, of me, YES I have friends who voted for Clinton.
But I will not be still.
I am contacting my state representatives. I didn't know who they were until two days ago. I am going to see how to make my state house blue.
I am signing up to email with the people running for New Jersey governor in 2017. I will help on the campaign. I will work.
I will stand beside my friends of color. I will stand beside my LGBTQ friends. I will stand besides my sisters. I hope they will stand beside my Jewish self.
I will not be still.
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains
I still remain. I will not be still.