Dear Baby Girls,
Yesterday I took pictures of you. I thought about the letter I would write to you, reminding you of what you were doing the day the most historic thing happened: I believed, deep in my bones, that you would grow up watching a Madame President lead us, and I believed that that would be the beginning of shaking misogyny loose. I thought we would be celebrating today with apple cider. I was going to teach you how to toast. Instead, we are grieving, and we are steeling our resolve.
Because we didn’t elect our Madame President. We did not pick Hillary. Instead, we elected a man who called Mexican immigrants rapists. We elected a man who bragged about “grabbing (women) by the pussy.” I am really freaking disappointed. Hillary did win the popular vote, which makes me know that there is in fact, more good than hate. But baby girls, today is a dark day.
It is a day that is so hard. It is a day that was completely unexpected, at least for me. It is a day that I wish you never saw. It is a day I wish I could protect you from. We wildly underestimated misogyny and racism and today our underestimation hits hard, home, and real. Our underestimation is shaping your world.
I want you to know we will keep you safe. We will stand up for our beliefs. I want you to know we still believe in justice. I want you to know we know how serious this is. I want you to know how much work we have to do, and how committed we are. I want you to know your voice matters, especially when there’s injustice. You do not have to agree. We will support your voice. We will make space for it. Your voice is valuable, and it counts.
No matter what they tell you, you are allowed to grieve and take action at the same time. You get to have both. That’s what is fair and real and necessary. I want both for you. I also wanted a Madame President for you. I am deeply disappointed. This morning we listened together to the should-have-been-Madame-President give her concession speech. I sipped a homemade americano. Papa organized your toys. Luna read a book called "The Shape of My Heart." Sienna burrowed her head in my shoulder and whimpered. She is right: this will be painful for a long time. She is right, little girls, do not doubt how valuable you are, how important you are, how deeply we promise to fight for you. We will raise you with our values, we will make sure you know what justice is, we will help you find your voice and follow your dreams.
So much heartache this morning, baby girls. We love you, baby girls. We love you.
Chelsey is a digital storyteller, geek, mama, researcher and yogi. She loves to make things and her favorite food is artichokes.