A Week from Hell

I took my four year old to the courthouse so I could be surrounded by people who felt the same anger and fear I felt about the leaked Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade. We didn’t go downtown because I knew there would be a bigger turnout, which meant more LAPD presence and I didn’t need to expose my young son to that yet. The protest we attended was very tame, filled with families (including an actor from a show I really like… because this is LA). As we were getting ready to leave, a passerby shouted at me and another mother holding our signs that we didn’t deserve to be mothers. I was filled with rage and I don’t like that feeling.

Afterwards, we walked to shake shack (which seemed appropriate since I was shaken) and while we waited outside for our food, a man asked us about our signs. He then went into a rant about how white people deserve to get their rights taken away because he’s had all his rights taken away (he’s not entirely wrong, but I took this as a sign to not engage). As we continued to wait, a tween approached us, also waiting for their food. The man asked the tween if they were my son’s mother, to which the tween responded confused: I’m a kid.

Then the man asked the tween if they were a boy or girl. The tween responded that was a very personal question, and then they locked eyes with me. As the man continued to now harass this poor tween, the tween crouched down to hide, looked at me and said they were scared. I told them they were okay, they were safe, and I would stay with them until their parent was done ordering the food.

As the man continued to yell, I said to my little tribe that we should move to around the corner and stay together. I calmed the tween down, asked their name, told them mine and my son’s. Reminded them they were safe. Their parent came out and they gave me one last look before walking into the safety of their mother: “Thank you. You saved my life.” We were together for maybe 5 minutes.

The world feels pretty awful right now. A pandemic. A war. BLM. AAPI hate. Anti-trans. Anti-semitism (almost didn’t include this one, which feels strange as a Jew). Hate and denial are rampant. I literally live with it and have made excuses for it. I’m constantly vacillating between wanting to shout from the rooftops about injustice and cruelty, and then getting so overwhelmed by media consumption that I have to text my mom at 6am to talk me down from a panic attack.

After my angry tears subsided, my son ran into my room and into my arms. I held him tight and we breathed together until he fell back asleep and my fear started to go away. I’m so sad this is the world he’s being raised in, but holding him I feel some semblance of hope that maybe we’ll all be okay. I have to believe that.