Last night, I drafted the following letter to my toddler. Since she’s too young to remember, I want her to someday understand the significance of this moment in history.
My heart is aching. Beyond the obvious political implications and concern for social justice in America, I am grieving lost moments. I had envisioned these scenes so many times, I never stopped to ponder the alternatives.
- The moment I wake you up and tell you we have a woman president
- Dressing you in your “Future President” shirt for school today. (Yes, it was only available in the “boys” section”
- Teaching you to say “Madam President”
- The moment you would someday realize the first president you remember is a woman
And never having to encourage you that yes, someday, a woman could be the President of the United States.
Last night ended differently and today many are filled with fears: safety, economic security, access to equal opportunity, and many more.
I really don’t know what will happen in the years between now and when you are old enough to read this letter. I do know this:
America and its diverse people have faced obstascles before. Opposition to social justice and fear of the “other” have slowed the nation’s progress before. Yet we have managed to claw forward. Those who are fighting for equality and representation are resilient people. They’ve had no other choice, after all. Promise me you will always be brave and resilient with them. Even when it is really tough, at least try. That’s all bravery is anyway. Promise me you will fight for injustice, act with empathy and integrity, and never ever give up hope.
Use your privileges and your voice to ensure access and end oppression. Work tirelessly to ensure that tomorrow’s America is our best America.
Tonight all I wanted to do is play with you; your energy, your giggles, and your kindness are comforting. While watching Elmo (your current hero), you gifted me with one of the best moments of being a mom.
For the first time, you said, “I love you.” Not just once, but again and again to both Dada and me.
I love you, Maddie, and I can’t wait to someday be with you when we watch that glass ceiling shatter.
“Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton
“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy, as well as an individuals life, is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton