I've been the mother of a seventeen-year old for an entire week. It's exhausting. I'm going to need a lot of naps.
I kid. Kind of. I mean, we had her home on her birthday a week ago, only because we had a late winter storm that cancelled everything, including Youth Lobby Day with Equality Maine at the State House, (the event she assisted in organizing). The event was postponed until yesterday, (good thing yesterday's storm wasn't as significant...Happy Spring in Maine!) and we were up at 5am and to the Capitol by 8am. Thankfully, we're fairly local to the seat of our state's government, because Olivia's activity there seems to be becoming a regular thing; just last month, she spent the day there shadowing a legislator.
You see, somehow we've raised an activist. (Insert heavy sarcasm.) Last fall, Olivia was accepted into Equality Maine's New Leader's Project, where she has excelled and well, proven her leadership skills. As part of her independent project within the EQME NLP, she is organizing and hosting a talk at the Maine Youth Activism Gathering in April. Oh, and she's also on the team that is organizing YAG.
So a lot of her days involve some juggling. A few weeks ago I was out shopping with her while she was trying on clothes for the upcoming EQME Awards Dinner and when I got back to the changing room with more options, I overheard her on the phone, planning with her co-host, a Blunt Youth Radio show on reproductive rights and access to care. (Unfortunately, this show has not been uploaded yet. She agreed this morning to co-host one on Rape Culture in April). Some of her days are really long and might begin with a YAG meeting in one town in the early morning, and then a full day of assisting at an event until late into the evening, two-hours south.
In her downtime, Olivia enjoys nerding-out with her similarly-minded father while tormenting the likes of me with detailed lists and endless discussion and chart-making about such things as chicks (which we are getting in June) and the exact combination of said chicks and where exactly we should put them and when we should order them and which feeders are best.
If discussing chickens is out, she gets us all wound-up and next thing you know, the Bradstreets are volunteering to coordinate our town's annual historical-day event in August. Because we needed something to do.
And she's just seventeen. Hand me a pillow. And a blanket. Draw the blinds, please. I need a nap.
(In all seriousness, we're extremely proud of Olivia, in her activism and in her abilities to inspire and lead others, but most of all, her good heart, clarity of thought, and willingness to act.)