what’s older than my son?

If you answered “The Iraq War,” you’d be right.

I was inspired to write this post by Shark-Fu…go check out what she wrote (on the Potato’s birthday, so it was extra-resonant for me).

The day that the U.S. invaded Iraq, I was at a conference in Las Vegas. There were buses hired by the conference to take us down to the Strip where there was an anti-war demonstration going on, but some of my colleagues and I missed the bus, and jumped into a cab so we could try to find the protest march, in the kind of madcap adventure that would have been funny if it had been in a movie (“I see them!” “No, those are performers from Circus Circus!”). Okay, it was a little funny even without being in a movie.

I was four months pregnant with the Potato, and I was willing to go on a march, but I didn’t want to have to walk a marathon to get to the march, if you know what I mean.

It’s impossible for me to remember the start of the war without remembering that anecdote, and the fact that the pregnancy in question netted me a son is a topper. Because since I became the mother of a son, I’ve been wondering a) will this war end before he’s 18; and b) at what point will we move to Canada to avoid him being drafted?

Two years later, I was back in Vegas on the same weekend for a similar conference, and again, a bunch of my co-workers and I marched down the Strip to protest the war (this time I wasn’t pregnant, fortunately). Will I still have to do this when the Potato is six? eight? fourteen?

There are all kinds of sacrifices that I’m willing to make in the struggle for justice. I’ll march against the war every year of my kids’ childhood, if need be. But at a certain point, I have to wonder, what will make us finally give up on living here?

I’m going to spend a lot of time doing election work next year. I’d really like there to be a candidate to work for who wants to end this war before the Potato turns six.


August 13, 2007. politically motivated, thoughtful parenting. 6 comments.