Where I Was When Love Won

My students like to ask me where I was when historical stuff happened. Most of them start somewhere in the 80’s, but some are smart asses and ask me where I was when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. They fail my class, by the way.

I kid.

But it’s always interesting to me how quiet students get when they get to hear a first-hand account of something from history.

Where were you when John Lennon was shot?  I was only two, so probably at home.

What about when the Challenger exploded?  I was elementary aged, but I don’t remember where I was. I remember it happening and that it was a significant event.

And when they torn down the Berlin wall? Again, elementary age, but I was told “This will be in history books,” and that shocked me.

How about when Kurt Cobain died? High school English class. We didn’t have MTV, so I hung on everything my friends told me. It was the first celebrity death that really affected me.

9-11? Teaching Exploratory Spanish to sixth graders.

Did you vote for Obama? Our first black president? I did. But not because he’s Black. Which is probably even more historical. People voted for him because they believe(d) in him.

Some day they might ask me last week’s SCOTUS ruling. My own kids might ask me too.

Because my own children–ages 6 years, 3 years, and 4 months–will never know what it’s like to not be able to marry who you love because of the law.

I was thinking about that the other day. My dad was born in 1950. Segregation was still a thing, although he probably didn’t see it first hand because of the tiny, almost all white, Michigan town he lived in (and we still live in). It wasn’t until he was seventeen years old that interracial marriage became legal.

I can’t imagine that now. We have interracial marriage right in our family and it’s hard to imagine that they were just not allowed to do it because of a dumb law just fifty-two years ago. There were people who vehemently opposed interracial marriage then mostly citing Biblical passages.

I never knew that time.

And my children will never know that gay marriage was not legal. They will not live through all of the hate-filled Facebook posts or people cherry-picking Bible verses to support their hate.

By the time Eddie and Charlie and Alice are at an age to get married, they won’t have to worry if the person they love is a different race or religion or the same sex. They can marry that person and enjoy all the same government benefits as us straight white people.

I’m not a political blog even though I am a political person.

I don’t strive to be a controversial blog, even though in real life I will discuss hot topics with you all day long.

I don’t always write about the latest news items, but this one had me thinking about my parents and the history-making events and decisions that they lived through: Desegregation, Roe vs Wade, Vietnam, Watergate, the JFK assassination, etc. I wonder what it would be like to have their thoughts from when those things happened.

And so, because this is history that I thought my children would like to have my thoughts on, I am saying this: I am proud of the Supreme Court. I am proud of this decision.

We still have a long way to go in our country as far as eliminating prejudice and awarding equal rights to everyone. I have family, friends, colleagues, former students, and current students who face difficulties every day because of who they are. They fight for rights that should be theirs just by being citizens of the USA.

I am an ally to those people.

I want to teach my children to be allies as well. To have compassion and open ears for all people.

Where was I when love won?  I was at the park with my three children. I saw the decision on my phone and I looked up to see Eddie and Charlie engaging with all the kids who were there. In fact, I watched as Eddie approached the only Black family at the park and asked the little girl if she wanted to play tag with everyone. I watched Charlie run past a kid who fell only to turn around and hand the kid his shoe back.

It’s cheesy to say, but my eyes got all teary. My kids already seem to know that Love Wins. And I am just optimistic enough to think that as a country, we are heading in the right direction.

Where I Was When Love Won #LoveWins

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Your children will be so proud of their Mom for taking a stand. xo
    Alison recently posted…Bee Stings, Midlife and Telling StoriesMy Profile

  2. This is beautiful, my friend. You have an amazing heart.
    Tracy Morrison ( recently posted…Top 5 Running MomentsMy Profile

  3. Yes, to all of this. Not cheesy at all. The biggest, greatest thought I had on Friday was that my kids will grow up free to marry who they love, and they’ll never know the difference. I took them to the Supreme Court on Saturday, because I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be with them, even though they won’t remember it. Last Friday is a day I’ll tell them about proudly.
    Michele recently posted…Right Now [the Halfway Through 2015 Edition]My Profile

  4. I was on Facebook when the rainbows started rolling in, and I thought: hey, only 10 years behind Canada 😉 Just kidding, my daughter and I told each other simultaneously and did a little happy dance. Unfortunately, it did not take long before the hate messages started appearing and that makes me so sad – there is a lot of work to do, and I’m so glad you are taking a stand. Love you!
    Kerstin recently posted…The Reset ButtonMy Profile

  5. I also got a little teary when I saw the news. What lucky children we have.
    The Many Thoughts of a Reader recently posted…Lucia, LuciaMy Profile

  6. “When love won” …yes. YES!

    This was beautiful.
    Kir recently posted…Pour Your Heart Out: 10My Profile

  7. I love this. We were at Disney World and when I saw it I got teary. I was so proud and happy. I should write this down too.
    Denise recently posted…A Trip To Georgetown Headache CenterMy Profile

  8. Yes. All of this. Yes.
    Jennifer recently posted…Summer Happy – Making Memories that Last a LifetimeMy Profile

  9. I got a notification on Facebook that someone had shared a picture, and it was from Hillary Clinton, a map of the places in the US where gay marriage was legal, and it was all one color. I didn’t know what was happening, but as I scrolled through my feed, I found out about the ruling and yes, there were tears. All day long. <3
    Greta recently posted…#KC Starlight Broadway Series: PippinMy Profile

  10. Kids always tell the truth, making things we consider complex so plain and easy and understandable and RIGHT. I love it. I was at work, but to be honest, the week was so full of news that that’s all I got. I was at work and just glad for progress.
    Arnebya recently posted…Win a $110 Target Gift Card for Your #SummerHappyMy Profile

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