How was it that last year was worse than 2016? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. I think that we can all—if we have eyes—understand the crazy that this year has been. I’ve never been as fired up about politics and people as I have been. A lot of that is in direct response in my becoming a mother (and maybe a little becoming my mother). Be the change you want to see and all that. 

During Thanksgiving, my Mother In Law asked us what our highs and lows of this year were. That felt like a dangerous question. One I don’t know if I felt comfortable answering. Would they like my highs and lows? Were my highs high enough? Were they too obvious? What about my lows? How could I tell a bunch of people who voted for “the other guy” that their person made me feel unsafe as a woman in this world? I still want them to like me. How could I bridge that divide between my and their viewpoints? It was not a really safe space to discuss the incredibly deep and profound things that I felt about this year. This isn’t that space either, but it is easier for me to think about it and write it out, instead of answering on the spot. I am learning that I need to be more open and open to discussion when it comes to talking to my family who may or may not disagree with me. I think that if our country is going to have any hope of survival, it’s going to be us coming together to talk to our family members and realizing that we are all still humans. That and also establishing boundaries to keep yourself protected. Ha. 

In an effort to be a bit more open, here are some of my low points in the year: 

1.) Resurgence of Nazi Idealism in our country: 

 This can probably also be filed under, why I don’t like DT. Treat women like crap, Ban all brown people, but call literal Nazis “nice guys”. No wonder they’re more bold. This is not okay, not even close to okay. This is why I need to speak up, not to the entire world, but to our family members who call racists and bigots “protestors exercising their freedom of speech” and turn around to the black community doing the same thing but calling them “thugs who need to get a job and get off the street”. 

RACISM IS NOT OKAY. (And reverse racism doesn’t exist, it’s not how it works)
My human value is not diminished when minorities reach equality with us. Your human value is not diminished. However, if you try to take that value away from someone who is already struggling to survive and fight systemic pressures already in place, then yes…your human value is going to be in question. And you and I are not going to get along very well. 

2.) Systemic Injustice in Our Culture. 

You guys. This can’t be new news. Why why why are we still dealing with this? Why do I feel like I am living in Oliver Twist or Bleak House? If someone spontaneously combusts I really don’t think that I am going to be surprised.

Every day, I am sick of the fear that we have of each other. I am tired of living in a country where police brutality is the norm. I am disheartened to see that there are still mass shootings happening every single day, and nothing is done for sensible gun control. I am so incredibly tired of this vilification of immigrants and minorities, and the working poor. Remember when your grandparents moved here for a better life? How is that different from anyone trying to live here? Why wont we let poor mothers have food assistance without judgement? Why does another black kid have to die today at the hands of a cop?  When I hear these things, I have no idea what we’re going to do to stop it and the task feels so overwhelming and I begin to lose hope. 

America, we can do better.
    We can do better. 

Whew, these things weigh heavily on me every single day. How can I change there narrative of America’s story without white washing the horrible and unforgivable acts that we have always done to the poor, sick, and needy? 

This year wasn’t a complete wash though: 

My one good thing: This is the best thing. The most wonderful thing about this year. 

Holden was born. Little brother to Beckett and complete perfection. Holden was a surprise baby, and I was so nervous the entire pregnancy. Honestly, I thought that we were going to lose him in the beginning. I couldn’t be so lucky with two perfect pregnancies in a row could I? I held my breath the entire time. And the day he came, he was the most beautiful thing. He gave me a quick labor and delivery and an easy recovery—and he gave me the chance to be a mother again. I can’t imagine my life without him. 

Every single day I stare at him in awe. I stare at his older brother the same way. They are my life. It hasn’t been easy to care for these two little people. However, nothing worth it ever is. 

Some days I feel guilty that I brought them into this world, full of chaos and madness. What will their world be like when they get older? I am going to work my hardest to give them a world that is cleaner and more loving than it was when they were born. They have made me more brave, and more fierce, and more willing to stand up for what I believe in than anything else ever has. 

Every human deserves to be treated with dignity.