You may remember it as kind of funny–how sure I was. And how it all came crashing down. Mom had expressed worry. Not me. I was confident. We all wore white that day to commemorate the women’s suffrage movement. I was never afraid. I was never concerned. I never entertained a what-if scenario that included that Big Orange Turd becoming a member of the club that has Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama as members. Never.
It wasn’t until results started to come in that were surprising and states we thought she’d win easily were too close to call…and suddenly all the many ways Hillary could win became all the many ways she could lose. But it happened. When things turned really ugly and you had fallen asleep, mom made you go to bed. You protested as though you were missing out. You missed my shock, flipping between my phone, laptop and TV over and over again, like I was caught in a ghostly loop. You missed mom crying and then going to bed before it was officially over…and then waking up and crying in the middle of the night when I told her it was done.
And you may not remember this, but my confidence was not at all unusual. (If anything mom’s worry was.) Anyone who had done their homework, dug into the data, followed the news, knew that it was a foregone conclusion: Hillary would win. I don’t know know when it is you’ll be reading this but by now you may have witnessed a predictable election or two. Those are normal. Since the age of modern polling, there have really only been two big surprises to-date and this was the first I’d ever lived through. They occurred in 1948 and 2016.
But there we were as a family the next day trying to make sense of it–a day I had taken off and that I thought you’d take off so we could all celebrate. We decided to send you into school instead. Again, you felt like you were missing out. Mom and I were trying to make sense of it for you first thing in the morning, explaining how we thought this happened, what it meant and what it didn’t mean.
It didn’t seem like you were that upset. You were too young to be as scared and devastated as we were. To you, it was a little like the bully won the spelling bee, beating that nice kid he just gave a wedgie to an hour ago. It was a vague injustice. The story with a shitty ending. You did ask how it could have happened. But then you were ready to move on. Which is good.
But I do want to be sure you know that this happened here, at this point in your life.
It’s funny because as you’re reading this–assuming you haven’t found it early–you know how this all turned out. I’m writing it and I don’t. I don’t know how it turns out for him or our country but you know. Was he impeached? Was he actually re-elected? I kind of wish you could tell me. And then you could be the parent trying to make sense of the injustice of it all.