We're the moms living in houses, condos and apartments on urban, suburban and rural streets. We sit on the edges of soft little beds, dreaming of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for our children and our families. We give birth, inhale sweet baby skin, giggle at first steps, and cry on first days of school.
Down the avenues, live the machines. Political machines. They're churning in buildings learning how we talk, we walk, we write and where we shop. They know we carry babies and groceries and iPads. They know what we buy, what we read, what we wear, and where we travel. They know that we read labels and newspapers and social media; we lock our doors and our pocketbook; we help with homework and volunteer at schools; we pack lunches, we work hard, we save money, we spend money, and we worry. We worry about job loss, guns, healthcare, education, religion, drugs, sex, bad people, and anything, anyone threatening our children.
The machines like worry, and so they place made-up faces with fancy degrees behind carefully lit podiums aimed to help worry grow. Worry builds fear, and fear builds hate, and hate, apparently, brings voters. Those machines hope we'll fear the refugee, the other religion, the other faith, the other color, the other country, the other idea. They blast messages through social media, radio, newsprint and TV. They jabber in our cars, in our purses, in the gym, and in our family rooms at dinnertime.
They say, Hate! Hate the neighbors, or the pacifists, or the abortionists, or the Christians, or the Jews, or the Muslims, or any veil, or the policemen. Hate the blacks, or the whites, or the Hispanics or the Asians or the Arabs or the Russians. Hate the charter schools, or the lame schools, or the homeschools, or the "unschools." Hate the immigrants, or the refugees, or the feminists, or the gays, or the hippies, or the divorcees, or the handicapped, or the mentally ill, or the bullies. Hate the environmentalists, or the rich, or the poor, or the middle class, or the corporations or the occupiers. Hate the president and the politicians -- the other politicians, that is.
Meanwhile we mothers say, "Use your words, sweetheart," as our babies learn how to share their toys. We wave at each other as we drive our kids to school. We smile. And the speakers on our dashboards sneer, Join us in slander, in lies, in name-calling, in interrupting, in grandstanding, in spinning, in wall-building, in taking away, in mockery. Lift up your guns and crosses and flags, and point them over picket fences, parties, state-lines, oceans, countries and continents.
And we drive on. We drive to soccer, to work, to the doctor with our babies. We run companies, wait tables, carry children, tend to tears, hang coats, nurse the flu, butter bread, prepare toothbrushes, review spelling tests, track growth charts, clean dishes and pat warm sheets. We stand at kitchen tables where our children chirp, "What's for dinner Mama?" while the machines twist and twirl desperately for our attention. "Did you hear what Trump said last night -- about his opponent's face? And did you see what he was wearing? "
They're seeking us. But maybe they've forgotten -- we are the moms who hear the voices of children, who witness where life begins. We're the ones who are living among young laughter and hope and real God-given needs of children of communities, of the world. We're the ones who can detect the tiny calls of not just our own children, but hers, and theirs, and those with less -- even those not yet born. We're the ones who feel for young hearts crying out for peace and refuge in the shelters of mothers everywhere.
"Please Momma," say the voices of our children. They ask us not to hate and tear down, but to nurture. They ask us not to look down on, but to lower ourselves. They ask us not to separate, but to embrace. They ask us not to take, but to give shelter, school, food, clothing, safety, community, forgiveness, faith, inclusion, and love.
They ask us to become the arms of mothers unfolding into waves, spreading over streets and train tracks, rolling through countries, and oceans, and planets; waves reaching for the other babe, the other family, the other human; waves caressing the stranger, the sufferer, and finally filling the pool of peace, everlasting peace.
Our children beg us to stand as tall and strong as those mothers who came before us, souls now beneath us, whose blood courses through us. They ask us to stand with the mothers who claimed us the right to vote, to dress as we choose, to work, and to integrate.
Our children cry out louder than the machines, than the politics, than the hatred. They urge us to be the lefty, the righty, the beggar, the worker, the wife, the single mom, the believer, the rebel, the pacifist, the gardener, the scientist, the teacher, the student, the writer, or the artist. Be the voices that come from where we began -- the voices for the tiny, the forgotten, the needy, the weak, the distressed, the broken, the longing, the restless, or the oppressed.
We are the ones! We're the moms who can hush the hatred, and turn it off. We're the ones who can raise our voices in truth and peace, building life, liberty, and yes happiness, once again.