Dear Emma Grace & Addison Rose,
I have been up all night trying to make sense of this crazy election and trying to figure out what to say to you when we inevitably talk about it today, the day after our country elected a President who I didn’t think was qualified, or the best person for the job.
While tossing and turning all night, I struggled with these feelings of failing you both. The only thing I can relate it to was feeling very much like having a rug ripped out from underneath women everywhere. One minute we were standing in awe and hope with a woman’s name on the ballot for President, thinking that anything is possible, and the next moment we watched all those dreams crumble, while America decided that a racist, misogynistic, hothead with no self-control was the lesser of two evils. Then these feelings snowballed into tears and I began to have so many questions. “Will a woman ever become President?” “What kind of world are we raising you girls in?” “How can there be so much hate and unfairness?” and “Can we just move to Amsterdam already?”
Finally, I gave up trying to sleep and came downstairs. And in the light of this beautiful morning, seeing your sweet faces, I realized that the hope I carry in my heart everyday…the hope that you both will lead successful, brilliant, happy lives full of love…that hope is still alive. Throughout today I’ve been letting this all simmer in my mind, I’ve been talking with Daddy and reading some really insightful stuff and I think I can finally start to make sense of all of this. And maybe answer some of those questions that kept me up all night long…
Will a woman ever become President?
Yes, of course. It is going to happen and I really even believe maybe at the next election. Or at the election after that, which by the way, both of you will get to vote in! Maybe THAT is when it is meant to happen, and you will get to vote our first Woman President into office. As for last night, almost 50 million people cast their vote last night for a woman, giving Hillary more votes than Donald Trump in the popular vote. It is all just a process, and albeit a little too slow for my liking, the shift has begun and I have no doubt that the gender gap is closing. Girls will get their day. I loved the line that Hillary said in her concession speech, “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.” I think it is only a matter of time until everyone sees men and women as equal. We will just keep fighting for an equal seat at the table.
What kind of world are we raising you in?/How can there be so much hate and unfairness?
So here is the thing. Last night was the perfect example of democracy in action within our nation. Many people are not happy with their current situation and so they used their right to vote, voiced their opinion, and initiated a change. I want to believe that those almost 50 million people who cast their vote for Trump last night were simply hoping to change their trajectory of their lives. Many of them are not as fortunate as our family. They are out of a job, living in neighborhoods that are not safe and they are unable to attend school or provide a secure environment for their families. Or they are just unhappy with the democratic stance on certain issues, and they saw Hillary as another 4 more years of the same policies that President Obama had put in place. I think they felt Trump could be a catalyst for change like he kept promising in all of his talk. I also think, or at least want to believe, that many people overlooked Trump’s (for lack of a better word) gross behavior and the things that were said by all of the supposed “grown ups” during the past few months because they were just so desperate for this change.
That being said, a change in leadership and direction of our country does not mean that it changes us as people. We are still kind, loving, compassionate people with respect for ALL. It is so encouraging that even you – 11 and 13-year old girls – are smart enough, to call people out, to be indignant and even a little bit angry when you see someone bully others, make fun of others, or treat anyone in a demeaning way. My hope that you will continue to recognize this unfairness and be brave enough to stand up to those who feel it is acceptable behavior.
Now, and always, remember our Golden Rule – Treat others who you want to be treated. Or Luke 6:31, – Do unto others as you would have done to you. Just continue to do all things from a place of love and compassion. Many of our friends and family are going to have very different viewpoints on many things – but listen with understanding, speak with love and act with compromise.
Can we just move to Amsterdam already?
Ha! Although I would like nothing more than to just throw my hands up and walk away from all of this, we can’t. And more than that, we still live in the greatest country in the world. There isn’t another place on this Earth that is as diverse or offers its citizens as many freedoms and privileges as America. We owe it to HAMILTON, Washington, Jefferson…all of the founding fathers of our nation to respect and uphold democracy, otherwise what were they fighting for? We need to be open-minded and allow Donald Trump the chance to lead as President. We will hold him accountable for his actions, for sure, but we will also pray for him and pray that he will be a good President.
One thing is for sure, I’m encouraged by the fact that you will become our leaders one day. I feel confident that this is a great learning process for you and for all of the youth of our world. And when we hand the baton on over to you, I think you are going to do amazing things. Keep asking questions, listening and learning. And remember what the Dalai Lama says, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
I love you, my strong, and always amazing, Girls.