A dark day. The sun has risen and animals are flittering about. I have never so badly wanted to be a dog, or a cat, or a cricket. Unaffected. This morning I, along with countless other parents, had to wake up and tell my child that the thing I swore would not happen, could not happen, happened.
My son is white, and probably straight, and he is terrified. I can’t even imagine how difficult this conversation was for so many of my friends. My son is worried that his friends will be deported. He is worried about what this means for his future. He has watched the debates, and while he doesn’t understand some of it, he knows what Trump has, to this point, represented. Hatred. Racism. Misogyny. Homophobia. Bullying.
It’s confusing. In fairy tales, terrible things happen, terrible people make terrible decisions, but in the end, love trumps hate.
In kid movies, there is so often a bully. Some kid spewing his hate and terrorizing the neighborhood. The hero finally stands up to the bully, and the bully sulks away, tail between his legs. Because love trumps hate.
On the playground, there are real bullies. My son has stood up to them. He has stood up for the children who are different from him. He has a good heart. He knows he is doing a good thing. So this election, it just doesn’t follow the simple rule of cause and effect. Bullies don’t win. Love does.
This morning I, and so many of us, were called upon to answer some really tough questions. And I think a lot of us had the same questions as the children did. And yet we did it. We got through it. We talked about vigilance, about continuing to stand up to bullies, about how important love is, especially now.
And then our children went off to school and we cried. I did. I couldn’t keep my shit together during yoga, and the lovely instructor silently brought me tissue.
I think it’s okay if we mourn for this day. It’s good for kids to know that we too cry, we too grieve, we too get angry. But the sun will rise again tomorrow, and the children will need role models.
I went to volunteer at my son’s school today, and I was struck by how the children, some of whom still wore “I voted” stickers, were able to persevere. To play. To laugh.
We are entitled to our grief. But we also need to count our blessings, and at least in my case, my children are the most beautiful blessings I can imagine. So tomorrow I vow to be a role model for my children. I won’t mourn for the death of America. America isn’t dead—I can see it in the faces of the children. Tomorrow I will wake up and be present. I will be in the moment. I will laugh again. And I will stand up for the people who are different from me. I will stand up to the bullies. The children, our future, are looking for a hero. And they are right to know that we are going to win.