And Hannah and I marched, in Asbury Park. With one of my lovely quilt friends, Natalie, and her family. Originally Adam was considering coming, too, but then Hannah decided she wanted to stay home. I was going to be on my own. But then as I was getting ready to leave, she changed her mind and wanted to come protest. Adam was still in his PJs, with a healthy to do list for an afternoon planned watching the small human, so the girls went solo.

And it was amazing.

In a week, the organizers pulled together a family-friendly crowd of 6,000, with a supportive and kind police force, to march from downtown Asbury Park to the boardwalk, to Convention Hall, and finally to a rally in Bradley Park. It was pretty great. Hannah and I talked about boys and girls being equal, people of every color being equal, and people having the right to love whomever they want. And that if bad guys ever try to be mean, or tell people they’re less than someone else, we stand up to them. Like this, or by calling our senators and congressmen, by volunteering, by helping people who need help, speaking up against bullies, being kind. Whatever we can do. This is the 4-year-old version of what we marched for, but she got it.

Especially after we saw 2 real police officers. Lately Hannah’s been telling us that when she grows up, she wants to be a police officer so she can catch bad guys, drive really fast, and give people tickets. She thinks tickets are pretty amazing, I don’t think she cares if it’s a ticket to a carnival or a ticket for speeding. ALL TICKETS ARE GOOD. But she’s been nervous around real police officers before, I don’t know why. Today when I told her they were there to make sure we were safe while we stood up to bad guys, she seemed to get it. Like we’re in it together, somehow.

So she wanted to go introduce herself, and she showed the two nice officers her toy moose (which is actually a reindeer, but…she’s 4). She told them she wanted to be a police officer, thanked them for keeping us safe. And they told her maybe one day they’d see her in uniform. She loved this. “YEAH!!!” So excited. As we were leaving she called back after them, “Thank you for catching bad guys!” And in the car she told me that they weren’t scary, they were really nice! It was huge for her, to see such a crowd of people out being “good guys” together, with the police there to protect and serve. This stuff matters; even when I struggle with the actions of individual officers in individual cases, I haven’t lost faith in the institution. I don’t want my four-year-old to, either.

So, here are our pictures from the day:

Natalie made some pink cat hats to wear, Hannah sported one for a while.