Typically, I don’t lead with that statement because I am also a lot of other things. And in our society, women are sometimes pigeonholed and their identity as a mother is used to place them in a very narrowly defined category. For that reason, I usually like to let people know that I am a lawyer. A feminist. A wife. A friend. And yes, also a mother.
But this week, the “mother” part of me has been distraught. The lawyer part of me has had to go into the office and do “lawyerly” things. The feminist part of me has continued to call out sexist behavior and support the women in my life. The wife part of me arranged for a date night with my sweet husband. The friend part of me set up dinners and reunion weekends.
But the mother part of me?
Well, she raged this week.
She wept this week.
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She raged and wept at the cruelty that is occurring on the southern border of this once-great nation. She put herself in the shoes of those mothers. She imagined her own child. Her sweet, precious, innocent child — full of wonder and potential. She imagined that child being ripped from her arms. She imagined that moment — her child screaming and her arms bare. She imagined that child put in a cage. She imagined that child crying for her warmth. For her comfort. She imagined that child being scared without its mother there to provide reassurance. She imagined that child alone and afraid. She imagined scary strangers with weapons and harsh faces, instructing that child to eat or bathe. She imagined it all and the thought broke her. It broke her.
But these thoughts that tortured the “mother” in me this week, well… they didn’t happen to me.
They have and are however, happening to other mothers. And that doesn’t break me. It shatters me.
Last night, I put my child in her bed. I placed warm blankets over her. I kissed her cheeks and her tiny nose. I sang her our favorite lullaby. I told her that I loved her and that she made me happy.
I wonder what that mother did last night. I wonder how she managed without her child in her arms. I wonder how that precious child fared last night. I wonder if it cried itself to sleep.
Why has that mother been destined to a different fate than I?
Is it because she is brown?
Is it because she is poor?
Is it because she is out of options?
Is it because she didn’t have the fortune of being born in this country?
Is it because her native lands aren’t safe for her and her child?
Is it because she did the only thing she could to help her child live a better life?
To to live at all?
You see, to me — those are reasons to help this mother and her children. Those are reasons to embrace her. Those are reasons to give her comfort and shelter. Those are reasons to show her love and mercy. Those are reasons to care.
But our country’s leaders see those reasons as cause to persecute her. Reasons to treat her a subhuman. Reasons to punish her. Reasons to belittle her. Reasons to actively do her harm.
Honestly, I don’t care about your political identification today. I don’t care how you voted in 2016. I don’t care if you identify as pro-life or pro-choice. I don’t care what church or religious persuasion (if any) you find solace in. I don’t. Not even a little.
I do however, care if you cannot find love and mercy in your heart for this woman. For these women. For these children. For these families. If you cannot? Well, I think there is a very special place in hell for you.
And if you do find love and mercy in your heart, I care that you act on it.
Call your Senators. Call your Representative.
Post about it online. Raise hell.
Demand that our government find love and mercy as well. Demand it. Demand it over and over again until this madness ends.
Silence is complicity.
Do you want to be complicit in this human rights violation?
The mother in me continues to rage and weep. But she also is taking action.
Please, for the love of God and His people, join her.