I was feeling massively aggravated on Sunday. Aggravated because there was laundry that needed to be done. Aggravated because el Chileno doesn’t believe in a visitation schedule and kind of just shows up after he gets done doing what he needs to do, even if that just means sleeping in because he hung out too late the night before. Aggravated because I would rather been at a rally against what the Israeli government did to the Flotilla instead of helping my 12 year old prep for finals even if I wasn’t so keen on the org behind the rally. I wanted a public space to express my anger with my presence, not just typed letters.
My frustration reminded me of my younger mami’hood days. Mami’hood 1.0 if you will, when if I wanted to go to a rally I packed up la Mapu and went. If there was a risk of arrest or if I knew I was going to get arrested, I let my mom know and she would stay with la Mapu. But that was in a different time with a younger, more willing, less tired mother, with a different, more easy-going child and with only one child.
I guiltily wondered, how many mamis were on board the flotilla and how they probably didn’t worry about their kid’s finals or dirty Dora the explorer panties.
I’m often asked how I do it all and most of the time I feel like I do it pretty damn poorly, from mami’ing to organizing, to writing. I feel like I’m always behind, always struggling, always broke. I mean my kids are generally great, smart and aware pero I feel like people are always watching me and not in a creepy please don’t break into my house again way, pero to judge.
I am not the upper middle class mommy writer who leaves her kid alone in the park and gets a ton of media coverage on it (and of course she has a book deal pero that’s a whole different post).
Porque where I live, publicizing leaving my 12 year old kid could get a visit from CPS and then get my kid taken away. Where I live, my sister takes her pre-k class to a puppet show about safety and all the 4 year olds yell that they should not talk to the police officer because where I live it’s been feeling like Phoenix for a long ass time for familias. Where I live, the police knew me at first because my apartment was broken into, but now after seeing me at a few local rallies and marches, they know my kids and I and give us the “you deserved what you got” look.
“free range” is inaccessible, whether that be in the local Associated Supermarket where the free range eggs are $5.00 or in the local park where the mami/vendors hold their children tight next to the shopping carts filled with elotes or bottles of water.
I’m still frustrated that I can’t go to a million meetings and rallies planned this week because I am so broke ass right now and need to work doing something I am not really enjoying at the moment or because poroto is a little more inquieta than her sister and can’t be expected to not run into a line of police officers at a protest.
Everything is measured here, carefully.