For weeks now, my daughter has been asking for a history book, but like most children, she places history in the past. I don’t know if she understands we are still making history here, now.
Last night, she and my partner pored over civil union photos from Millennium Park. She knows Barack Obama is the first Black President of the United States. She reads a picture book about his life every night. She knows families have a mom and a dad more often than they have two moms. She knows she was born in Guatemala, and she’s adopted, and lately, she’s been wearing a Guatemalan doll pin on her shirt to be fancy.
What she doesn’t know is that families like ours haven’t always been so open. Adopted children haven’t always been told about their adoption so early in life. Two moms haven’t always secured legal relationships with their children, and in many places both inside and outside this country, they still can’t. But laws change. People change. Environments change. She asks if studying law would allow her to be a lifeguard. “Maybe someday, Sweetheart,” I tell her (long after she’s gone to bed, and I’ve had time to think of the best response), “if we work hard to make it so.”