Just a Mom
You probably don’t know me. I’m not a well known writer or speaker(yet). I don’t hold a special title. I have no special training in politics. Honestly, I’m just a Mom trying to make a better world for my kids.
A couple of years ago, when Greta Thunberg began bringing attention to our Climate Change Crisis, my oldest daughter was only 10. She listened to Greta with great interest. A kid, just one kid, was waking the world up by activating millions of other kids worldwide! It was inspirational. Admittedly, at first I was content to remain a spectator, cheering on the movement from the sidelines, occasionally sharing my support from my social media account. However, a small conversation with my daughters changed all of that.
We were out on a family adventure, enjoying the natural beauty of our lakeshore, and soaking in a gorgeous sunset. I saw it as an educational moment, and began speaking about how we needed to do our part to protect our planet. My oldest, Abigail, seemed distressed. She had been following the current events at school. Thousands of school aged students had been organizing, rallying, and protesting to bring attention to the Climate Change Crisis. We talked about possibly attending a local rally. Abigail wanted to go. Her enthusiasm caught me by surprise.
I was praising her desire to speak up and protect our environment, when she said something that changed my entire outlook. “Mom, why aren’t the adults doing anything? Why aren’t YOU doing anything?” My first thought was to become defensive. I wasn’t the problem here! I was doing my best to recycle and take my reusable bags to the store. I was busy as a single Mom, just trying to work, pay the bills, keep food on the table, and still find time to raise my kids. What did she want from me?
But then, I broke down my defenses and forced myself to listen. My daughter was scared. She saw how bad things were getting. She was listening to Greta warn us that we only had a few years to turn things around, before it was too late. She saw the writing on the wall. But, she was powerless to fix things. So she did what all kids are taught to do, she went to her Mom for help.
In that moment, I realized my job as a parent doesn’t stop with the daily tasks of survival and child raising. My job as a parent is to help create a better future for my children. That is worth repeating. MY JOB AS A PARENT IS TO HELP CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR MY CHILDREN!!!!
That realization has been my motivation to not just sit on the sidelines, but to get involved. It has taught me that I can no longer be silent; I must speak up about the things that matter. It started with a passion to protect the environment, to fight for cleaner air and water, and to advocate for more sustainable energy solutions. Then the Black Lives Matter Movement happened, and I realized my job didn’t end with environmental issues.
I began to ask myself what kind of world I wanted for my children, what kind of future I wanted to help create, and that thinking has led me to become more vocal and more politically involved. I’m new to everything, and I’m learning as I go. It’s often out of my comfort zone, and keeps stretching me. But it’s something I must do, for my children.
You see, I’m just a Mom, a Mom who is determined to fight for a better future for my kids. And believe me, there is a lot of work to do! But I’ve found comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this fight. I’ve found like-minded folks. Leaders, trailblazers, and activists who have worked hard to pave the way. They have been fighting for my generation, pursuing a vision, a dream, of a better world.
I can’t type those words without thinking of Martin Luther King Jr. Today, we honor him. He died, pursuing a dream, a vision of a better world for future generations. And though he was killed for his work, his words still inspire us. But, to honor him, we must do more than simply share his words and nod from the sidelines. We must take the torch and run with it. We must continue to fight for a better world for future generations. Our children are relying on us to speak up and do whatever we can.
I’m Angela Henzman, and I’m just a Mom fighting for a better future for my kids. I wonder, will you fight with me?