This morning's Election Day Hangover rhetoric included the omnipresent, "What do we tell the children?"
My daughter woke up 6 AM, walked into my room, tapped me on the shoulder and said: "Who won?"
"Trump," I said. She grabbed her hand on top of her head and said "Oy vey! Now, what?"
"Don't worry love, we will be OK," I said. She stood there quietly, peering at me sadly, doubting my unconvincing words.
"You said yesterday I would remember this day forever. You said this will be the day we have our first woman president."
"I know," I said. "I was wrong. Sometimes our favorite candidate doesn't win and a candidate we feel is less qualified wins and it makes us angry and frustrated because we feel it's not fair. No one likes to lose, but there is a valuable lesson in this. We can't always get what we want and it's often hardest to accept this when it's something so important and it feels like you have no control over it."
It's a life lesson which plays itself on repeat (aka history).
What do we do? We move forward because there is no other direction. We wake up in the morning, get dressed for pajama day at school, eat breakfast, go to a piano lesson, and tomorrow night my son will star and his first high school show. We will go as a family and we will support him and we will be proud and we will appreciate art and entertainment and celebrate diversity and education and family. On Friday my sister will visit from Maine for the weekend and we will rejoice in each other's company and we will devour a newly discovered box filled with old letters and diaries from our childhood. My father will come and install my sink and refrigerator water line and we will go out to dinner and celebrate his 68th birthday and we will live and we will love and we will take one step in front of the other and advance. There will be changes and transition, sadness and disappointment. People will review this campaign forever and they will analyze every county in every state but it's irrelevant; it's illogical.
The American public voted with their hearts, rather than their heads.
My son woke up at 6:30 and walked into my bedroom. "Trump won," I said. "RIP America" he muttered as he went into the shower. In the car on the way to school I mentioned I had a similar experience when George Bush beat Al Gore. On the contrary, I remember the feeling of euphoria, hope and pride after the 2008 election when we elected Barack Obama.
None of our leaders are perfect, starting with our founding fathers. Flaws are the only consistency to humanity. Some of us are mourning the death of America while the other half wait "to make America great again." Ultimately we all have to take accountability for creating the life we want, and I want to believe America is still the greatest country in the world to do it.