Chacos: Still marching, but in a different way
Four years ago, I wrote about being an Awesome Mom in my first op-ed as a columnist. With a wink and a smirk, I lauded Awesome Mom because she volunteered at her children’s school, exercised daily to fit into her skinny jeans, read books for fun, and celebrated her ability to nourish a family with home-cooked meals that her kids eagerly ate.
She did this all while having a spotless house and a healthy love life with her husband. I understood what this mom tried to achieve and I enjoyed the comfortable life she lived. Awesome Mom worked hard to live up to society’s standards of what she believed they wanted. Eventually, I kicked her to the curb and told her to get a life. She can come back when she’s a bit more evolved.
Her counterpart, Working Mom, didn’t volunteer too often at school, exercised only when she felt like it, watched too much bad television, and ended up subscribing to a weekly meal-delivery kit making her kids prepare evening dinners. This mom didn’t want to be defined only by her accomplishments as a parent and a wife. Working Mom also cared deeply about bringing up social justice issues, especially after her daughter made a transition in her life requiring steadfast support from everyone who loves her. This mom was desperate to be seen and she needed to be heard.
Four years ago, Working Mom adorned a pink pussy hat and hopped on a flight to Washington, D.C. on the eve of Trump’s inauguration as 45th president of the United States of America. Although this mom did not vote for him, did not subscribe to his politics, nor follow his moral compass, she knew going to the Capitol along with more than 450,000 people from across the nation was the right thing to do.
We marched for those without a voice anyone listens to or even hears. We chose to walk the streets peacefully.
We marched for the moms that believe their only role is in the kitchen, in the bedroom, or in the back of the room. We wore hats and pink scarves, waving rainbow flags in peaceful protest.
We marched for the girls that would one day shatter glass ceilings and for the boys that would one day stand up to powerful bullies. We brought our children to the steps of the Capitol to teach them about resiliency and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Now, on the day that the 46th president of the United States of America is sworn into office, I’m still marching, but in a starkly different way. I’ve had to cancel my family’s trip to Washington, D.C. as an angry mob took away our right to witness history being made in our nation’s capital. This time around, my family is watching things unfold from our living room couch instead of being at the inauguration.
We are wearing corny t-shirts I bought online, we’re eating takeout from a restaurant that will soon shutter its doors because of the pandemic, and talking about the importance of civic engagement in a responsible way. I try to give my children answers to their difficult questions that are rooted in empathy and understanding and that’s hard to do.
Awesome Mom (the evolved one) and Working Mom (the one not so loud or angry) could both agree upon that.
Andrea Chacos lives in Carbondale, balancing work and happily raising three children with her husband. She strives to dodge curveballs life likes to throw with a bit of passion, humor and some flair.