An Open Letter To My Daughter: Remember Today, When We Climbed Past The Ceiling Together

Today means that you can be anything in this world that you dream of.

My Dear Future Leader,

Today, we made history together. You probably are not aware yet of just how monumental of an experience we had together this morning. My hope is though, that one day far into the future, you will look back and recall the events of today and what they represent. So I am writing you this letter to tuck away in that special little box we keep for you filled with trinkets from your childhood. Today, this letter will find it’s home alongside your first missing tooth, a golden curl we saved from your first haircut, cards from your first birthday party, and several other keepsakes tucked away, waiting for their future roommates as you grow and your experiences expand.

While braiding your hair this morning, I asked you if you would do me the honor of joining me while I stopped to vote on my way to drop you off at school. You did that thing that I find so endearing, where you raise one eyebrow and asked “Do you need help deciding Mommy?” I had to laugh, because your candid demeanor and inquisitive nature are things that I know will serve as valuable resources later in life. As we rushed downstairs to put that last load of laundry in the dryer and pack up your soccer stuff for tonight’s practice, we continued our conversation. I told you this day is not only about the candidates, but also about you and I. Today, is about what this election represents. You followed me over to the sink, where I washed those last few dishes, and together we finished packing your lunch and I checked your homework from last night. After about thirty additional questions in a way that only you and Barbara Walters can pull off, you agreed to accompany me. We put the dog in her crate, and hurried into the car and we drove with your dad to our designated voting location.

Before we cast our vote, I leaned down and gave you a hug. I looked at you and said 'I want you to always remember today.'

In the car, I asked you if you knew what a model was, and you responded “Yes Mommy, the people who show us what fashions to wear!” I turned back to look at you and smiled at your innocence. I handed you my phone so you could watch a live stream video about a “model.” Your eyes grew wide as you stared at the live stream video from a graveyard in Rochester, NY and I explained that the model buried there is the one-dollar-coin model, Susan B. Anthony. This intrigued you, and you asked why so many people were visiting her grave. I told you her story, how she was willing to sacrifice her freedom and her reputation to campaign for women’s rights, including our right to vote.

We arrived at the polling location, and after a brief wait, I took your hand and we entered the booth together. Before we cast our vote, I leaned down and gave you a hug. I looked at you and said “I want you to always remember today. Today, there is a FEMALE listed as a choice for president. This is the first time in history that this has happened. What I want you to remember about today, is that this means that YOU can be ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING in this whole world that you dream of.” We hit the CAST VOTE button, and after taking a few I VOTED pictures outside, we dropped you off at school.

When I arrived at the office, I began to reflect on this experience, and decided I had to write this letter. I want you to know one day when I am no longer here to cheer you on, that today, I tried my best, as I do everyday, to demonstrate to you ALL of the things that you can accomplish. You can be a mommy who works inside the home raising her children, or you can be a mommy who works outside the home, or you can do both. Maybe you will decide not to be a mommy. You can do that too. You can decide to be anything that your mind allows you to pursue. Today, I want you to know that YOU are your only limit. I know this, because today you witnessed a FEMALE’S name listed in a voting booth as a choice for president. Please remember that for me and you, today is not about debating why one candidate is better than another. Today is about equality. Today, I want you to remember that no matter what your political affiliation is in the future, your opinion matters. You have the right to make choices in your life, and your voice can be heard through your vote. I will do my best to raise you to believe that everyone has an equal right to their opinion, their religion and their political affiliation. I will do my best to make sure that you, like me, will have friends that are Republicans and friends that are Democrats, and you will have friends that are Unaffiliated and do not align themselves with a political party. The most important thing to me, is that you believe in the same equality that we experienced together today.

My wish for you, is that you find friendships and relationships that allow you the opportunity to be lifted up and to lift others up, to be yourself, to gain inspiration, to find encouragement to pursue your dreams. Do not engage in relationships where people try and arouse the shame demons in others. Do not be a “mean girl” but do not allow anyone to tell you that you can’t achieve something because you are a female. Don’t linger in the back and hide your ideas behind a smile, instead, take a seat at the table where you belong. Don’t see limits, because today my future leader, we saw beyond the ceiling. We saw equality in opportunity, and I am depending on you to carry this vision far into the future because there is still work to be done. Be strong, be confident, be kind, and always be you.

All my love in this world and beyond,