Earlier today millions of people marched across the United States for gun control. Marches were in cities and towns. And they were organized and orchestrated by school students. Students too young to vote are the ones with the courage and action to stand up to our country’s leaders. They are the heroes we don’t deserve but thankfully have.
They aren’t the only heroes we have among us.
During the march, I was at my favorite café in Blaine. A woman walked in with her baby son. I’d chatted with her before, but today I got to know her and discovered she’s a hero. A modest, unassuming, caring hero. I know there’s a chance she’ll see this. I hope she does. I hope everyone does. But I’m still not naming her. I think she’d be embarrassed.
The first time I met this woman, the last time we chatted, she had just moved to the area. Her husband got a new job, and her father was visiting and helping them settle in. She appeared nervous and uncertain about her son. He’s a few months old, but she came across with the uncertainty of a new mom with a newborn. I have to admit I was judgmental. Between her focus on being a mom and her sparkly diamante cap, I didn’t think we’d be friends.
Today we chatted about the differences between people in different cities. She was surprised at how different people can be between cities. About the bubbles people create to make ourselves feel secure. And the judgments we place on others to reinforce our own decisions. We chatted about the reactions people had to her traveling and relocating with a small baby. We chatted about her mothering choices and the criticism she’s received for wanting to breastfeed her son. She spoke of her thoughts to start a blog and share her life, discoveries, and learnings in being a new, and first-time mom.
We talked about how nasty people can be online, and how blogging will put her in the middle of that. I was blown away by her response to the negativity she would inevitably get. She didn’t care. She said she had researched her options before making a decision and her son was loved, healthy, and cared for. If they didn’t like how she did it, then it was their problem. She wanted to tell her story, and her experiences, and her life. Their judgments and criticisms didn’t matter.
As a marketing writer, most of the work I do is based on appealing to a set of people. It’s a hard habit to break even though I can and do try to break it here. And here’s this woman who has made so many decisions, impacting others and the future, with so much confidence and determination.
I had to leave the café, but I gave her my email address and offered to help her start her blog. We need to hear voices like hers.