Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Housework and Activism

I am not a political person.  You won’t find me adamantly supporting candidates I don’t know personally or posting constantly about whatever popular thing there is to be worked up about. I won’t go on and on about abortion or same sex marriage or whatever inflammatory subject happens to be in the spotlight. With most political issues, I feel like there are two sides to every story, and too many circumstances to talk in absolutes. But this month, I’m wearing dresses to stand up against Human Trafficking, and posting State Representatives’ phone numbers, asking you to call them to stop the insane number of fracking wells (numbers the oil and gas company lied about) that have been proposed to go into residential areas of our town.

Emily, it looks as though you’ve become an activist.

What gives?

It’s because of housework.


You see, my kids have to do certain chores before they can watch TV or play their iPads or video games. And their efforts as of late have been lackluster. They miss huge piles of clothes that need to be put away. They leave their backpacks on the floor. They leave their books, dishes, clothes, toys wherever they land with no thought that those particular items are included on the “pick up and put away anything that belongs to you” part of our “Daily Chore Chart.”

And for the past few weeks, instead of giving them step by step instructions, I have been saying, “Look around. Find what needs to be done and do it.” Over and over and over again.

My four year-old is included in these chores, and when he asks if he can watch Dinosaur Train, our conversation usually goes like this:

Child: Can I please watch Dinosaur Train?
Mommy: You can watch Dinosaur Train as soon as you pick up your toys.
Child: But that will be sooooo haaaard to do. It’s too hard to do.
Mommy: You can do hard things, buddy.

I say these things to my children because I want them to grow into contributing members of society. I say these things to my children because I want to empower them. I want them to look around, find what needs to be done and do it. I want them to do hard things so that they know that they can do harder things when they have to. I say these things because I want them to be able “to adult.”

But the only way that they know I mean it is if I do it myself. So I am looking around. I am finding out what needs to be done, and I am doing something. They aren’t big things, but they are hard things: Speaking out for someone who doesn’t have a voice. Asking for State help to fight against Oil and Gas Companies who were given more power than the communities they enter.

I could bury my head in a book or in Gilmore Girls episodes to escape my anxiety about these situations (It wouldn’t be the first or the last time for me to do this), but that would send a different message to my children.

Plus, when I meet God someday, and I get to ask him, “Why ticks? Why sickness? Why childhood cancer? Why sex slaves? Why didn’t You do anything about all of that?”

I don’t want Him to be able to say, “Why didn’t you?”

To donate to the Dressember Campaign, go here:

To oppose fracking under homes and schools, and that is dangerously close to the water supply in Broomfield, please call Vicky Marble at 303-866-4876 to tell her you don't want to be a guinea pig in this Residential Fracking Experiment.

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