I wanna be Anne Lamott. And NOT JUST because she’s a kick-ass writer.
No: I covet her social-justice-beatnik-political leftist-protesting mojo. Lamott grew up with parents heavily invested in social justice. Her father volunteered at prisons, her mother marched in protests.
This crap comes naturally to her. JEALOUS.
When Lamott had her own kid, one of her first acts of parenting was to teach him the classic protest call and response: What do we want? PEACE! When do we want it? NOW!
I taught my child how to sign “milk”.
I learned many valuable skills from my upper-middle-class parents, but knowing how to make hollandaise sauce in the blender doesn’t come up much at a Black Lives Matter march.
I wish social justice came as easily to me as meal planning or punctuality. I wish it were something I were not learning to do, awkwardly, with two kids in tow and a full plate of suburban mom obligations. I wish I had joined a radical commune in my twenties instead of trying to get an internship at a dot-com.
(Actually, scratch that. I’m much too uptight for communes).
For a long time, I told myself that I just didn’t know how to do social justice. I told myself I needed to wait until I knew what I was doing. I would wait until a graceful opportunity presented itself.
The problem? I live in a wealthy white town, go to a mostly wealthy white church, and mix with other homeschooling families who are, for the most part (you guessed it!) wealthy and white.
The commune and protest march are not marching and communing over to me. There is no graceful opportunity waiting in the wings.
Instead, all I have to work with is this present moment, my incompetence, and some mean eggs Benedict.
But is that really a bad thing? And do I have to let that stop me?
I’m over at The Mudroom talking about moving past Hollandaise towards social justice. Won’t you join me over there, awkward or not?