I cried myself to sleep on Tuesday night for many obvious reasons. I cried because we had lost the election. I cried because we are yet to celebrate having a woman for our president. I cried because a racist, misogynist, pussy grabber was elected to lead our nation. But mostly I cried because I saw tears of fear, disbelief and angst running down my daughter’s cheeks.
My heart shattered into a million pieces.
I woke up Wednesday morning trying to be hopeful, trying to find the silver lining. But I didn’t. As I was preparing their lunch boxes, my oldest one came into the kitchen and asked me again if Trump had really won. Yes, he had. Those same tears ran down her cheeks again. And my heart, again, shattered into a million pieces.
I reassured her that everything was going to be ok. That this amazing country was going to be ok. That we were going to be ok. That SHE was going to be ok.
“How?” she asked.
I didn’t have an answer then, but just promised her we were.
Little did she know that she had already given me the answer. As I walked into my office, I found a note she had left for me the night before. It read, “Love is what I work for.”
And just like that I had my answer. LOVE.
So that night, while we ate dinner she asked me again:
“So, how are we going to be ok?”
I told them I had a plan. A good one.
This is how we are going to be ok:
We are going to love.
We are going to live an amazing life.
We are going to love and respect our friends, no matter where they come from, what religion they practice or what they believe in.
We are going to speak up and not remain silent. We are going to defend our shy friends against bullies. And we are going to show compassion to those bullies that are surely trying to fight their own personal battles.
We are going to celebrate holidays, birthdays, we will make up excuses to have laughter-filled family reunions as often as possible.
We are going to stuff our faces with ice cream and cake.
We are going to go on trips. Lots of them. Disney, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Miami. We’re going to travel all over the country. Because it’s an amazing one.
We are going to go to the beach, the pool, all of the parks, summer concerts, festivals…
You will go to gymnastics, or ballet, or swimming, or whatever you want to learn this month.
We are going to try to catch Santa this year….and the Leprechaun too.
We are going to cook and eat together (your father’s food, not mine, don’t worry).
We are going to go outside, way past your bedtime to catch fireflies.
I will visit you at school during your lunch time and you can visit me at my office during mine.
We are going to visit all of the Smithsonian museums for the 100th time because it’s one of your favorite things to do.
We are going to have picnics.
We are going to laugh about silly things and cry at sad things.
We are going to build forts out of blankets and make a mess in the living room.
We are going to pray together.
We are going to grow together.
And we will BE together. Because love trumps hate and love is love is love is love.