Democracy and Art

I wanted to take Bama and Rabbit to Wall Street to check out Occupy Wall Street. In the first couple of weeks, I definitely wanted a co-pilot. There was so much unrest, arrests, bizarre police actions (and lots of not bizarre action, but I wasn't going to put my children in imminent danger), so I waited.

Uncle Nellie and Uncle Ken (also known as The Big Softie after giving Bama Liam the Lamb for Christmas last year) have been in town for a week or so. Uncle Nellie, all 6'5" of him, thought he'd like to go down. A perfect co-pilot. It was also an opportunity for him to spend more time with Bama and Rabbit. 

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Bama adores him. We had lunch together at the only decent West Coast style burrito place (Dos Toros) in Manhattan, then Bama ran circles around the fountain in Father Demo Square with Uncle Nellie in pursuit. Eventually, we headed towards FiDi, stopping at City Hall Park so I could nurse Rabbit. 

Uncle Nellie and Bama explored the fountain, settling down to paint with leaves and water. She found a leaf just for him. He marveled at her balance and ability to lean waaaay over into the fountain without tipping in.

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There are several Sol Lewitt "structures" in City Hall Park, including this brilliantly-hued citadel. I thought it appropriate that the girl who loves color and art should stop to study it.

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Before we went to Wall Street, Bama and I talked as well as I think an almost-three-year-old and an adult can about democracy (we all get to talk and share and work together) and protests (if you don't like what is happening, you have a right to say so). 

There's a lot going on, in true liberal form. Maybe too much. At times I was overwhelmed by the different banners and encampments within the larger camp. Below, a shot of Parents for Occupy Wall St., which was preparing for an overnight with families from the area. The green is a child-safe space. I don't know how many families were coming or came (Huffington Post says 500, but not sure if that's HuffPost's number or Parents).

It's brilliant, really, to bring families down to Zuccotti Park. Children can take part and observe first hand democracy in action. Regardless of your political leanings, getting kids involved early is galvanizing. I was always excited to hear from my students about what political events they attended with their parents and their reactions.
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We added to Bama's dinosaur satchel with a bit of revolutionary flavor: Happy OccuParty seemed appropriate.
image from OccuParty Photo: Uncle Nellie)
We didn't stay long, but I'm very glad we went and that she got a look around. I left Rabbit and Uncle Nellie on the perimeter while Bama and I walked through Zuccotti Park. She asked questions, looked around, listened to music, asked more questions. She wanted to know what signs said, what they meant. Most importantly, at no time was she afraid or worried, just aware.

Democracy and Art

One thought on “Democracy and Art

  1. Reminds me of taking the girls to the memorials in the National Mall in DC. Lots of intense, loaded issues that get brought up. I rather like the challenge of finding ways to answer the questions accurately without providing too much information and/or causing undue anxiety/fear/worry. When I do it right, it feels like such good parenting moments.


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