Rae and I spent an evening making posters for the march. Rachel wanted hers to be on a stick, so we made two posters, one for each side.
"This is what an immigrant looks like."
"No hate in our state!"
"Si se puede!"
"Immigrants united will never be defeated!"
And our favorite, a long call-and-response chant with the refrain "We are immigrants. Mighty, mighty immigrants. We're fighting for justice and our families."
Rachel didn't chant much, but she was taking it all in.
While Rae liked marching, she loved what happened afterward. The march ended in the same market plaza where we'd begun. My sister was there waiting for us.
As soon as we sat down to eat, two girls around Rachel's age came over and started chatting.
They read Granny's sign and tried to figure out our family.
Rachel proudly told them that she was an immigrant from China. They were a bit confused as to how I could be Rae's mother, but she explained that I had adopted her and now we were a family forever. The girls seemed to grasp that idea and then asked Rachel is she wanted to play. She did, of course! The three ran off to play hide-and-seek around the plaza and soon invited other kids to play with them.
It was a perfect evening. The weather was beautiful, our bellies were full of interesting food, salsa music was playing over the speakers, we had made new friends, and we were surrounded by immigrants from all over the world.
Rachel will remember this march and the party afterward. For this night at least, love really was great hate. I hope that she stores these memories in her heart and finds more ways to turn fear and sadness into strength and bravery. And I hope there will be more marches for all of us in the future.