Sitting alone in a busy restaurant the day of the election trying to catch up on some reading, I was distracted by a little boy, maybe 7 years old, two tables over. I waited and waited for a parent to sit down next to him; then, I finally connected the dots. I asked the waitress if that was her son - and, in broken English, she told me it was. Because the schools were closed for use as polling stations, she had no choice but to bring him to work. I told her how I was in awe of his behavior - not babysat by an iPad, but very quietly entertaining himself with a single Transformer. I should have told her how in awe of her I was.
So, I said a quiet prayer that the woman I thought would win that night would make her life better.
Hours later, my 6-year-old was glued to the television as the first results of the election were announced. An enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton in a way only a little girl with a pure heart and a wish for a "lady president" could be, she begged to stay up. I promised her I would wake her when it was time to witness history, and she ran up the stairs and snuggled sweetly in to her soft pink sheets. I planned on waking her and bringing her downstairs when the moment she had been waiting for arrived. It didn't, and I let her sleep. When she awoke in the morning and I told her the news, she ran back to her bed.
So, I laid next to her and said a quiet prayer that the man I didn't think would win would make her life better.
The next day, as fear and gloating and agony and celebration simultaneously filled my social media feed, I was grateful for something I had already told both of my daughters earlier in the week. As they rehashed the schoolyard chatter regurgitating the political leanings and rhetoric of the respective parents represented on the playground, I made it clear to them that -- no matter who won -- we would wish only for our new president's success.
I hope to eat crow. I want to be wrong. There will be no satisfaction in "I told you so." It's the only way we all will win.
So, as I lay in bed tonight I will say a quiet prayer for all of our lives to be better.