Sunday, March 25, 2018

And the Children Will Lead Them

You guys, we did about 100 things this weekend (soccer game! birthday party! a Casa Manana children's play! Orangetheory! yoga! all the errands!), but I am still distracted, awed, and deeply moved by the power of the March for our Lives in Fort Worth on Saturday morning.

The high school age daughter of a friend of mine was the co-organizer of the March and I have never been a part of anything so powerful. Student organized- from meetings with the city, the police, and the permit office, to running the facebook page and answering questions near-instantly from those interested and defending their march just as quickly to those who quickly took to the page to try to tear it apart- and student led, it was an inspiration.

Claire had a soccer game, so James stayed with her while I left early to make it to the March with Landon and Cora. We arrived just in time for the speeches to begin, immediately running into good friends, and immediately impressed and overwhelmed by the articulate, passionate speeches being calmly given over the yells and bullhorns of the counter-protesters behind us.

Every speaker was a student. A few from our local high school, the school our kids will go to, and then more from other area high schools around us. My friend's daughter Lillian, is giving hers here.

As she said, "Politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now." My mom is a high school teacher, so I know well how impressive these students can be, but as I cried and cheered and snuggled my Cora in her butterfly tutu dress with sparkly star marching boots, I had such hope. These kids are the future and I stand behind them.

Oh, is this her first March?"
No, her 4th.

One of the other high school speakers said, "I was born the year after Columbine. This is the only reality I’ve known, and frankly, I’m ready for a new one.” I read something this morning that said, these students may be the generation of school shootings, but they're also the generation of Harry Potter. They believe they have power and they believe change is possible. I think that's such a powerful thing. Rather than my generation and the ones before me, which seem to collectively shrug our shoulders at the latest images of children in body bags with "if only there was something we can do" while living in the only fucking country where this happens, they call BS. We're the United States. We're filled with smart, passionate people. Of course we could do something, we and our elected leaders have just decided not to. I hope that changes. I hope those who won't work for a solution - who won't even TALK about a solution, who won't even engage in that debate of ideas or support research into measures that could help, who pretend that ANY regulation no matter how minor is a nonstarter- I hope those who send only thoughts and prayers are voted out. I hope the "well-regulated" part of the 2nd Amendment gets to have meaning again. I hope gun reform because the new single-issue vote. I hope that those who claim to be pro-life start acting like they mean it once that child actually has a life. I hope for much, but as I look at the students running every aspect of a massive event as smoothly as could be, I feel my hopes are justified.

And until then, we will donate and march and vote.

And we will be buoyed by a really good day.

A day filled with friends and neighbors, classmates, teachers, and fellow yogis.

Cora ran into four schoolmates from her class of 12 and none of us knew the others were going. James saw swim school clients and at least two of Landon's teachers were present.

I went to take a picture of a sparkly sign I saw a little girl was holding in her stroller and realized the sign-holder and her family were our neighbors down the street.

The grandmas were out in force, including dozens in "grannies for gun control" t-shirts and even more who couldn't march parked along the route, cheering and waving at us as we marched past. I saw both my grandmas in each and every one.

James and Claire made it just before the end, James as shocked and thrilled as me at the turnout.

All in all, Fort Worth turned out 8,000 people for the March for Our Lives. I LOVE this funky town.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist, author, women's suffrage advocate, and conservationist, for whom a high school in Florida was named after long before 34 kids and faculty were killed and injured by a former student armed with an AR-15, once said: "Be a nuisance where it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption, and bad politics, but never give up."

I think she'd be so proud of her high schoolers now. (If you haven't watched Emma Gonzalez's speech at the 800,000+ person March in Washington, DC you should; it's here and it's incredible).

DC crowds

I read a heartbreaking interview between the 1999 Columbine survivors and the recent Parkland survivors and one of the Columbine students said, “I just hope you know that it’s not that we didn’t try. It’s not that we didn’t speak out. It’s just that nobody listened.”

Well, we're here and we're listening and we're with you.


  1. To all of this, YES. I’m sad I didn’t march (on call and wasn’t sure about logistics with G) but will donate today.

  2. Love the 'pro life? prove it!' sign! these kids are amazing, I really hope you will see a change, soon.

  3. Thank you for marching. I am so happy to read this.

  4. We were there too! Love your signs. My son asked when our next March would be. The students in our part of the March were leading the chants and it was touching to see them empowered. Alsi, from one of the speeches: I had to register to volunteer at the library, but gun owners do not. My oldest son is very tall and 2 different people tried to register him to vote. I think this had more people than the Women's March. I called Ted Cruz out on his FB page (and I'm about to call his office), because he had a fund resigning ad where he is shooting a semi-automatic weapon. This was posted on Palm Sunday. Texas needs to turn blue this year.

  5. We marched, too, walking behind my two high schoolers and their friends. I cried over and over.

  6. I am so incredibly moved and impressed with our youth. I am from CT and my brother in law was a music teacher at sandy hook. Thankfully he was physically ok but he lost 3 beautiful students that day and had never been the same since.

    Shame on these officials who won’t stand up to the NRA and listen to what we all are saying- which is common sense gun reform. Hopefully if we continue to be loud enough they can’t ignore us any more.

  7. This is AMAZING! Having school-age kids I am so terrified and willing to do whatever it takes for change. My sister and her wife are new to DC (from San Fran, but my sister-in-law is from South Fl) and they put out a HUGE banner with that Marjorie Stoneman Douglas quote outside their town house. I am so proud of them! My college friends WENT to Stoneman Douglas and now their nieces and nephews attend there (they were all safe). It is TIME for change...well past time!