November 8th I woke up filled with expectation and pride. I dressed my 8 month old daughter in her “Females are strong as hell” onesie and we, along with her father, stood in line for an hour and 15 minutes, rocking and distracting a bored baby. Growing misty-eyed, I wore Baby ABC in her carrier into the voting booth and together, my daughter and I voted for our first female president.
That night, as things started taking a turn in the wrong direction, I cried, I felt sick, I raged, I despaired as I watched my daughter’s future, every woman’s future, threaten to do a U-turn. That morning I had been overcome with joy at the thought that my daughter wouldn’t understand the significance of a woman president. ”What’s the big deal? Women do all jobs.” she’d say, rolling her eyes.
And now it seems as if she may have to fight the exact same battles we are fighting for a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, to support herself and her family, and to be viewed as a human being equal to men.
When Joe and I had used all our emotional capital, we turned the TV off and I carried a sleeping ABC up to her crib. Here’s what I said to her through my tears.
“I’m so sorry.
I thought today would be the day but it isn’t.
We still have a lot of fighting to do.
But I will protect you as best I can, with all I have.
And I will give you the tools for this fight.
I will wrap you in warmth and love and give you good people for your tribe so you will never have reason to doubt that you are worthy.
I love you so much.
There is hope.
I’m sorry today wasn’t the day.”