This is not now, nor will ever be, a political blog. It is, however, a parenting blog, in addition to the farmy, crafty, things I throw your way several times a week. As a parent, (of a child in public school) I’ve had a Teachable Moment in my own back yard for the past week. Love it or hate it, this is Democracy. And we were there, in the thick of it. Late Monday afternoon, I bundled up the kids, packed the Ergo baby carrier, and headed to the capitol. The only ills we had to contend with were cold and light sleet; there were no rubber (or not) bullets and tear gas. The police, stationed on the perimeters everywhere, were there to ensure everyone’s safety, not to snuff out voices. It was a rare opportunity to consciously not take this hard-fought right for granted, when all over the world others are paying so much more than a measly $1.35 (to park) for the same opportunity. What a time this is in the world right now.
We’ve been talking about the historic activity in Madison all week. I tried to explain the situation in as objective a manner as possible, not looking to add another radical to the mix, but trying to, as best as I could, explain what each side was trying to do. I gave a watered down example of going to the grocery store and only being able to buy some of the things we need. I explained how lots of people might get, instead of their usual 100 cents, say, only 80. I also explained that lots of people have been getting far less money than normal all over the place, for a while now, because it’s a really tough time that we’re in. She easily counts to 100, and while she seemed to clearly grasp the simple overall concept of what was going on, she really fixated on these 80 versus 100 cents. (which you will soon see) We watched some videos online of what was going on, and she’s been hearing about it on public radio news all week. Today we went to see for ourselves.
I asked her if she wanted to make a sign, like those she had seen in the online news. “Yes! I know just what to write!” she said. In a flash, she had written this:
we wont to wrk togothr (we want to work together)
then she added, to the end
to git muny (to get money)
and then, a few minutes later, “snuck” this in, as she told me proudly
wee ned to hav 100 cons (we need to have 100 cents)
The little sign, securely taped to a paint stick, was no match for the wind and the sleet; it quickly flopped over and danced as she held it high. Sometimes Democracy is cold and uncomfortable and maybe even a bit disappointing. “Next time there’s a bad decision,” she said, “I will use cardboard.” And that was the quote of the night. I certainly don’t plan on making a habit out of this (certainly hope I don’t need to) but it’s nice to think we’ll be better prepared. Hee hee. This girl. She’s sheltered from so much, not having a tv, but she knows the name of her governor. It was quite the learning experience.