We had high hopes in our home for Election Day yesterday, and we couldn’t wait to vote. Sure, the kids are always psyched when school is out, but there was a reason for this day off, and they seemed genuinely excited, asking plenty of questions. Unlike most elections in our lifetime, this entire process has been most unusual and exhausting. I’ve watched online friends unfollow those with opposing opinions, some terrified of what was in store for our country. Going into yesterday, I was extremely proud and hopeful that this election was going make history, with the election of the first female president.
Over the last 18 months, we’ve discussed the candidates and the process with the kids. Ryder is older now, so comments and opinions from friends start an entirely new dialogue, about the election and other topics. A few months ago, he came home singing Trump is the dump, talking about his infamous wall, and afraid he would drop a bomb if he became president. I assured him both of those things wouldn’t happen.
Election chatter was constant, so Siella became interested as well. We had long conversations with her about how amazing it would be to have a female president, for the first time ever. Gemmie is too young to understand, but regardless, all five of us walked to the polls yesterday, together as a family, super excited. With my help, Ryder filled in some of the bubble on my ballot, and he slid it into the scanner. What a great feeling to have them included at such a young age.
All day they asked if we knew who won yet, but I reminded them that all the votes would not be counted until they were fast asleep. They asked what if Trump was going to be president, and because I was as certain as all the polls and experts said that he wouldn’t win, I pretty much assured them that wouldn’t happen. Just before bed, Ryder wanted to know what happened if there was a tie. He asked if they did innie minnie minnie moe to decide on a winner. I love his young innocence.
So it was time. We sat in front of the tv, like most of the country, where we watched and waited. I feel like almost everyone I surround myself with was “with her,” just like we were. We believe in stricter gun laws, a womens right to choose, equal rights, equal pay for men and women, marriage equality, should I go on. But as Jason and I watched in disbelief, it unfolded right before our eyes. How could this really be happening. What were we going to tell them in the morning? Seriously. Could this hateful, arrogant, misogynistic, racist, insultful, uninformed, threatening man really be our next president?
I think we finally pulled the plug, and turned in around 12:30am, with a strong indication which way this election was swinging. Anxiously, I jumped up out of a dead sleep around 2:30am, to see if there was any change. It was still to early to officially call, so I went back to bed, wondering (wishing) I was living a bad dream. In the morning, the kids woke us up and the first thing out of their mouths was “who won.” I checked my phone again to be sure this wasn’t some kind of nightmare, but sure enough, it was Trump. Ryder threw himself on the floor asking what was going to happen to us. I somehow held my composure, letting him know that we would be ok, we had to be ok. We are sad by the results, but had to move on, and continue to stand behind our values.
While walking all three to school this morning, I spoke to some other parents in disbelief. After drop off, I went for coffee where I bumped into another mother, and when she busted out with “I hate America right now”; I lost it, and completely broke into tears, right there in a coffee shop. This election has affected me more than I even knew it did. We are sad, but I guess there is some solace in knowing that many people here in New York City are feeling the same way. I bet Gary Johnson didn’t realize he was going to deliver Donald Trump the keys to the White House, by taking all those precious votes away from Hillary, especially in the critical battlegrounds.
All this said, I know we need to put the roller coaster election season behind, and hope Trump will do a good job at leading this great nation. Like Barack said last night, the sun will rise in the morning, and it will again tomorrow.
And to my two daughters, a quote from Hillary Clinton’s speech today ~ “And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”