The extraordinary is not beyond you. It’s just one small step away. – Julia Immonen
Last weekend, the boys and I sat down to watch a Halloween DVD. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest has been a staple in our house for a year. And at the risk of sounding like I've crossed over into some sort of mom-zone for which there is no recovery and I'll be doomed to wear high waisted, tapered jeans all my days, I never, ever get sick of watching it. It's sweet and fun and my boys love it.
We all know that putting in a DVD doesn't mean our movie instantly starts playing. There is always a delay while we sit through title cards, FBI warnings and anti-piracy pleas. This all serves to annoy more than delight because we can't even skip or fast forward through them. But something very special happened when we all sat down to watch that DVD.
The first thing to appear is the Universal image. A beautiful animation of our planet takes us on a 10 second journey through outer space. Jack always says "That's our Earth. That's our home" every time he sees it. Will started clapping and laughing. He clapped even more when the FBI warning came up (that must be a first) and clapped during the anti-piracy warnings.
To most of us, those annoying frames are tiny things keeping us from enjoying our movie.
To Will, they represent one step closer.
Yay for the one step closer. Yay for the almost there. Yay for the farther along now than I was a second ago.
The elections were this week. My choice for State Senator is currently down by 60 votes. SIX ZERO. He hasn't conceded yet and we don't yet know how this will all turn out but I maintain a glimmer of hope. This country isn't where I want it to be. We're deadlocked, divided, disenchanted, and disgruntled.
I voted because I had these women cheering me on. I imagined these beautiful angels surrounding the polling place clapping as each woman walked in. I saw women of all ages and some with babies and young children. Those are some of the truest heroes because it's just too easy to use kids as an excuse to not vote. I imagined all of the thousands of steps, some big, some small that have happened since this photo was taken. Could these women fathom that their daughters and granddaughters are still fighting some of the same battles around equality? But if I think about my lesson from Will last weekend, I wonder if they'd be focusing more on all that has happened. All of the steps closer to equality we are than we were decades ago.
So in their honor, I say yay to the one step closer. Yay to the people who still take up the good fights. Yay to a greater awareness I see in each new generation. I am no delusional Pollyanna who believes we've reached the apex. A circuit court's ruling that came after the elections this week has me feeling defeated all over again because I want a better world for my sons.
But we have to reflect on how far we've come. And we can't lose hope. Cheer for the one step closer, acknowledge the two steps back and try again.
Before you know it, the warnings and titles and preludes are over and the movie can begin. Don't jump out of the theatre during the long wait. But don't sit there with your popcorn waiting for some magical projectionist to get you where you need to be. Get up, make a phone call, volunteer, get comfortable being uncomfortable. Be the change. Because change is coming my friends. Change is coming. But in the meantime, I will say...
Yay for the one step closer.