Jennie, my daughter is almost 4 and is not the least bit shy of proclaiming her destiny as a space explorer. A few months back she hung her head low, explaining that she could never be an astronaut because "Buzz Lightyear is a boy." I tried in vain to search out a girl space hero toy at Target. No luck. The far flung corners of the internet were not much better. The closest we could come was McDonald’s Happy meal toy Barbie doll dressed in a form-fitting spacesuit.
It seemed only appropriate, though terribly ironic, that a brave little girl who dreamed to be a pathfinder would, like so many before her, will have to pave her own path to get there. She and I made a space suit out of old boxes and white paint, and now regularly take trips around Mars (the neighborhood) in our spaceship (Honda CRV) looking for Aliens (feral cats).
Soon Jennie will go from 4 to 24. And my hope is that she will have explorations planned for herself equally as grand. As a former constitutional attorney, I feel the collective gloom looming like a thick smog as the Supreme Court prepares to hand its decisive 5th vote from a revolutionary feminist icon to a woman belonging to a fundamentalist authoritarian religious sect that requires subrogation of women within the family.
But my experience as a constitutional law attorney has also taught me that progress through a courtroom while helpful can be overrated. Today I find joy that progress will find its way. If stalled in our courtrooms, we can create it in our living rooms- even if with old boxes and white paint.