Today I was planning to post about my favorite mom and baby products, but since the polls closed late Tuesday and Donald Trump was named our President Elect early Wednesday, I’ve had trouble focusing on much else. I mentioned last week that I didn’t want to discuss politics here, or anywhere for that matter—and, I still don’t. But, like most people, this election has taken up a lot of space in my life—I’ve read countless posts on social media, watched hours of coverage, read tons of articles and sat through every debate. And right now I feel like maybe I’d be missing an opportunity if I didn’t address the way I’m feeling. So, those mom and baby products will have to wait until next week.
I woke up on Tuesday morning with so much excitement, so much hope. Mike and I planned to get to the polls as soon as they opened. Sure enough we pulled into the parking lot at 6:25am, with time to spare—impressive for us, especially these days. We were greeted by an already long line that extended far out the door. The wait was no problem—I would have happily waited longer if I had to. An hour later I was casting my vote, Ben right by my side in his stroller, clutching a tiny stuffed dog, dousing it in baby slobber—totally unaware of what was happening—unaware of the weight and importance that moment held. Afterwards, on the way out the door I grabbed two of those token “I voted” stickers, one for me and one for Ben. I spent the rest of the day proud. Optimistic. Ready.
Just as the first polls were closing, we tuned-in to coverage of the results. We ate spaghetti. We were still wearing our stickers. For hours we watched as predictions were made, results rolled in and eventually, state-by-state a winner was declared. We sat glued as they zoomed in and out on a map of the United States, dissecting states by county and percentage of population. Those counties, and then states, filled in with red or blue. I still felt proud. Optimistic. Ready.
But, as the night wore on, it became clear that this election would not have the outcome I had hoped and voted for. I realized in that moment that I hadn’t actually prepared for this. Sure, I knew it could happen, but I hadn’t anticipated just how hard it would hit me if it did.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. To make matters worse, as I would lie awake in bed hoping for sleep, my mind would race and often times worry if someone who promoted such hate, fear and separation could actually become our president. After months of wondering and waiting here was the answer. So, at 1:30am, when I just couldn’t watch anymore, I carried my sleeping baby into the bedroom, sat on the bed, and I cried. And although I wasn’t ready to put into words yet why I was crying, I just went for it, I let my tears stream down my face and soak into Ben’s footie pajamas. This time thankful that he was unaware of what was happening.
On Wednesday, I watched Clinton’s concession speech, still as emotional as I had been the night before. And then I sat down to try and gather my thoughts, so that one day, if and when I needed to, I could explain to Ben why this election was so important to me and to our country, and why I was upset with the outcome. I’m thankful that Mike and I have the opportunity to raise our son with understanding and compassion. We will teach him that in this family and in this home, we do not support hate. We do not discriminate against or belittle others because of their differences, but rather we celebrate them. We’re in no position to impose upon others how they should live their lives, we can only decide how we want to live ours and then follow through with integrity and morality. We recognize that “love is love is love is love.” End. Of. Story. We’ll teach him to always go high. We’ll empower him to stand up for what’s right and good—even when it’s unpopular. By example, he’ll grow up respecting women—he’ll understand that no means no, no questions asked. And, he’ll know that yes, a woman can be president.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that these are my thoughts and feelings—I’m not suggesting that if you don’t feel the same way I do, you’re wrong. Being able to have different views and opinions is part of what makes the United States a great country. So, even if you don’t agree with the way I feel, or you didn’t vote the way I did, I appreciate your respect and I thank you for reading this.
Social media can be a dangerous place right now. Currently, I’m trying to steer clear of it. But, I’ve noticed quite a few posts on Facebook this election season, from people pleading for someone from the opposing party to explain why they supported their candidate, desperate to understand. I hope that need to understand is what ultimately outweighs the hate and the hurt. Although right now I feel scared, I refuse to let that fear cloud my hope. I have to hope that the good will prevail. Stay Optimistic. Ready.
“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy—as well as in an individual’s life—is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.” —Hillary Clinton
Thank you to all our veterans for your service and sacrifice.
See you next Friday! xx, Devon