So, Inauguration first. I was really on the fence about going, but living here when the President changes power seemed like an historic event to miss if I could see it in person. Yet, it is a long day, is quite cold (though it was "mild" by DC standards), and there was the great unknown of crowds and demonstrators while managing a three-year-old and an infant. My judgement generally tends to play out worst case scenarios, so I opted to watch from home while Scott hopped around the city easily solo. In all honesty, I probably would have found a babysitter and/or braved the elements had the election turned out differently, but these were the circumstances and I just felt safer in the privacy of my own home with my kids. I did walk outside a few times just to share the air with the excitement, but while we are close, my neighborhood felt like any other day (we are in Capitol Hill but on the east side, and the festivities were on the west) while people jogged, walked their dogs, and went grocery shopping. Had their not been a helicopter hovering overhead for an hour it would have felt like business as usual.
Scott hopped around the district, venturing in and out of metro, which was challenging due to the volume of people, but he was able to get a vibe from various areas, moving out when things were looking to get hairy, yet enjoying a beer with work colleagues at a certain point too. I know he was glad to be able to be a participant in a Presidential Inauguration.
On to the Women's March. Again, we decided it would be best that I went solo, due to the large anticipated crowds, and weather (I've decided I'm just a West Coast wuss). I would have loved to bring Jo, but she had a cold and I didn't need to expose her as a three-month-old to those elements.
The energy was electric just stepping onto the metro with so many men, women, and children from all walks of life. I really want to shout out to the men who participated for the women in their lives--that shows such strong sense of character and self and appreciating the entire point of the movement itself. I'm really grateful to be married to a man who sees me as an equal partner. So the metro was PACKED-every car, sardines jammed in a can. The metro drivers were the clearest (i.e., didn't sound like gobbledegook) I've ever heard them, having conversations with the riders about having to miss stops just due to the amount of people on the platforms and playfully chatting up how these crowds were so great. When we were finally able to get off three stops after the original one, women were cheering as they emerged from the train and pouring out of the escalator onto the street. I teared up a few times that day.
Finally getting out of the subway took some time and once I emerged onto the street, it was a massive sea of pink, as any aerial photos have already shown. I was lucky to find a small retaining wall and climbed up to sit to have a better vantage point and since the crowd was essentially non-moving/very slow going, I wasn't going anywhere for a while. From there, I was able to watch the jumbo screens, try to hear the speakers, and take in the very clever signs as people very slowly moved passed.
Seeing so many smiling faces of men and women coming together simply to support equality for everyone made me feel proud to be a woman and an American marching that day, as there has been a heavy weight on my heart these past few months. This weekend proved that so many people share the same thoughts. That's empowering.