History

Tonight, I locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes so I could post on Facebook something my daughter said that made me smile and think and be thankful. It occurred to me that this, this moment sitting on the edge of the bathtub, was a revolution.

One of the reasons that women’s voices are largely absent from history is that we were busy cooking dinner and watching over the kids. And they don’t wait. The potatoes burn. The youngest child is about to dump a cup of milk on her head.

But having something in our hands that allows us to snatch one or two minutes here and there during dinner to record what it is like – to be a woman, a mother – means that in 100 years, our grandchildren will know how their grandmothers felt raising babies, something few generations have known. They’ll read our blogs and our Facebook posts. These aren’t silly. They aren’t inherently superficial. They are history. They are the history I have hungered to read, to know, to learn, but has been far too sparse in details.

It is true that the screens in our hands can take over in a way that prevents us from being present in the moments that we don’t really want to miss. But they are also empowering peoples who historically have not had public voices. Of course, not everyone can afford a smartphone. Not everyone has internet service at home. I want to work to help make sure everyone has a public voice. The smartphone is part of that revolution for many.

You also need a good bathroom lock. Those kids can find you anywhere.

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