To My Children Upon the Election of President Trump

to-my-children-upon-the-election-of-president-trump

To my children,

I’m sorry. That’s really the core of what I have to say right now. I’m so, so sorry.

I’m sorry that I was crying as we snuggled in bed this morning. Sprout, when you asked me what was wrong, I said, “The really mean person was elected leader of the country.” I almost choked saying the words. They just seemed so wrong. I’m sorry that I may be crying when I put you to bed tonight.

I’m sorry that our country elected a racist, xenophobic,  misogynistic bully to lead it. That this is the sort of leadership the people of the United States of America actually want to have. That someone who stands for everything that I’m trying to teach you to stand against is going to be the most powerful person in the world. That we can’t hold our future president to higher standards than I hold you.

I’m sorry that our country is so sexist that it couldn’t possibly elect a woman, even though she has done nothing worse than so many of her male colleagues have. I’m sorry that your female classmates will not have a female President to look up to.

I’m sorry that our family members, classmates, playmates, neighbors, and fellow church-goers who are immigrants, people of color, religious minorities, and LBGT are justifiably scared. I’m sorry that we as a country have told them that they are not welcome. That we have told them we do not accept them for who they are.

I’m sorry for being depressed today and maybe the next few days. It feels like so much of what I’ve worked for on so many fronts has been wiped away in one night. It feels like every mile rode to combat climate change, every seed planted in our garden, every community event led to promote sustainability, every petition signed to reduce inequality, every anti-racist word written, every dollar given to reduce poverty has been wasted. And not just wasted now, but wasted forever. The Southern Poverty Law Center says Trump has already set back anti-bullying efforts by decades. That’s without him having any actual power over policy. It feels like breathing poisoned air.

I’m sorry for all of these things.

But I also promise you some things. I promise I will do my best to teach you to fight against hate and greed. I promise that we will show welcome and love to our friends and neighbors who are threatened. I promise that even though I am tired and frustrated that I will pick myself back up tomorrow (or maybe the next day) and start again. I promise that I will pray for our enemies to have a change of heart and find it in them to show understanding to those different from them. I promise that despite everything, I will fight like hell to make a better world for you.

And I promise that no matter what, I do and will always love you.

Love,

Your Mommy

11 thoughts on “To My Children Upon the Election of President Trump

  1. I’m having a hard time looking my children in the eyes knowing that this happened. I feel like a liar when my daughter cries and I say “It’s okay.”

    I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to make the world a better place. I don’t know how to protect them when this kind of evil is allowed to happen, when half the country wants it to happen.

    • I didn’t tell my older son that it will be okay, but then he doesn’t understand it well enough that I had to. I think we can only do what kind, thoughtful people who want justice have ever been able to do – get together, embrace each other and organize. Terrible things will happen, no doubt. But we need to fight them, if only to know that we did. It’s incredibly difficult.

  2. My children are too young to know/care, but I’m afraid for them.

    And when I found out this morning I found myself thinking (rather selfishly and horrible on many levels) that I was very happy my children are both boys. Growing up being white males they will be safer. Maybe.

    But there is a mindset out there, now all too aware, and even if the problem is “fixed” in 4 years, the damage has been done and can’t be hidden.

    • I feel the same about my boys – I’m grateful they are as privileged as they are. I worry a lot more about our family and friends who are less privileged, especially since we live in a neighborhood and go to a church with a lot of immigrants.

      As for the damage, I think some of it would have been done regardless of the election. White nationalism has risen and is rising. That wouldn’t have gone away if Hillary had gotten elected. Now, we have to act against it so it can’t do even more damage.

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