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Yet another surreal day! We had breakfast and then lunch with friends and then, Jade, our ten year old, went to a friend’s house for a sleepover, while the rest of us headed to our neighborhood to see our house and go to the HONK! festival. It’s an annual festival of “rebel bands” from all over the US who dress in wacky costumes and play music all over the Davis Square neighborhood (where we live). Tomorrow, there will be a parade towards Harvard Square.

Jonnie, our friend who passed away, loved this festival. Our families went together every year. A local band dedicated their performance to him (he was a big community activist) and a bunch of people who gathered for the memorial service tomorrow made plans to meet and go hear this band. It’s so, so sad!

Being back in the neighborhood was surreal. Our backyard looked so green and lush. Everything looked so quaint and clean and orderly. The food at Dave’s pasta was amazing! There were young kids and hipsters everywhere!

What really struck me was how many men I saw, alone with babies and small children, or tending to the kids as their wives/female partners just sat their enjoying their meals. I haven’t seen much of that in the past fourteen months. Of course, I have seen men tending to their children in Colombia if their wives are busy doing something else but I don’t think I have seen any men alone, on an outing, with very young children.

I don’t want to speculate about machismo in Colombia, although that’s my explanation for it. Nor do I want to say that there is no male chauvinism in the US because there is. I will say however that I have been very struck by women in the US. The way they walk and talk and carry themselves just seems so confident and strong and empowered. The couple dynamics seem different too. Men and women seem to talk to each other and very openly here in the US. It’s interesting to see things that I used to take as a given with fresh eyes….

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