Activism with Your Child: Rallying at the Capitol
I love mommy-daughter dates. My daughter and I regularly embark on adventures both big and small, from wandering through Houston’s museums, to exploring Manor’s Ghost Town, to delighting our taste buds at Whole Foods’ never-ending salad bar. We both like trying new things, but I’ve found that the specialness comes not so much from what we do, but from the experience of doing it together and the big and small conversations we have along the way.
One of my favorite mommy-daughter dates from this summer was rallying at the Capitol in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. I truly believe the ACA is a big step in the right direction to make sure more children, families, and adults have access to medical and mental health care, and I wanted to both proclaim and share my excitement over the ruling with others who were gathering at the Capitol gates that afternoon to show their support.
I asked my sidekick if she wanted to join me, and she was all over it.
Now to be clear, she wasn’t quite sure what a rally was or what this thing “Obamacare” that the talking heads on TV kept referring to was, but she fed off my joy and excitement and knew that she wanted to be a part of it, too. Sure, it was hot that day standing downtown in front of the Capitol, holding signs and calling out to passing cars, adding our voices to the others coming out to celebrate. But, boy, was it fun! Not only did we get to see TV cameras and reporters, but my daughter even made it on to some news reports, proclaiming her support for broccoli. She was practically famous!
We celebrated. We had fun. But, as with most of our mommy-daughter dates, the most rewarding part of the day was the conversations we had – both big and small –around it. The day opened up conversations about why it’s important to all of us that everyone in our country can go to the doctor; about how well-meaning people can disagree on what is good for our country; and how for many big problems, it’s hard to find a “perfect” solution, which makes it so important for people with different ideas to work together to figure out compromises.
That particular mommy-daughter date also provided me with the opportunity to show my daughter the importance of showing up and speaking out for what you believe in, even when others may disagree.
[Editor’s note: The Mommy Mob team will continue to keep you informed about kid-friendly rally opportunities in Austin. If you’re interested in a civic engagement activity you can do from home with your child, consider Letters to Leaders, a Texans Care for Children project that collects letters and artwork from Texas kids to their elected officials. The website has guidance on how to do the letter-writing activity with your child.]
Written by: Josette Saxton