My some miracle, there isn’t a food holiday listed for today. I think this was God’s way of saying “Take a break, have a good cry, today is for more important things than food.”
I will warn you now: if you are not interested in reading a lengthy, rambling post from a mom who is in the midst of a panic attack about her children’s future – this isn’t for you. Skip this one and wait for tomorrow – I promise to write something funny again after today. But today. Today is here and I can’t think of anything else to do but word vomit everything I am feeling.
To my children,
You are my world. You are my reason for waking up each day – and every day I wake up vowing to love you and protect you to the best of my ability. Yesterday, I cast a vote with the intent of doing just that: protecting your right to the future you deserve.
But here we are today, about to live with the reality that everything I hope for your future may be in jeopardy.
It’s not Trump that I’m worried about – not Trump in the sense that he is only one man. A batshit crazy man, that’s for sure. A sexist, racist, disgusting man – but still, he is only one man. My fear is his ability to appoint someone to the Supreme Court who will undo any progress we have made in my life time. A person who may decide the choices you will be able to make in the future – choices that belong to you and you alone.
For the both of you, this means that someone else will get to decide whether or not you have the right to openly love whomever you choose – and that businesses may have the right to refuse to serve you based on that fact. Nicky: you may not remember this, but we stood together on the steps of our State Capitol on the day that Minnesota became the 12th state in the US and the first in the midwest to legalize same-sex marriage. We hugged strangers, we cried at the knowledge that your aunts could marry – that “love is love” was really true in our state. Though you may not remember it, I’m so thankful for that memory. But a Trump Supreme Court? It means that as you grow up in a world filled with people of all backgrounds – LGBTQ and beyond – there is a strong likelihood that you will grow up watching their rights be limited and taken away – or your own rights if that is how you identify. Every day, from this moment forward, I promise to be a better example of love and acceptance. I promise to teach through example – to be the love that truly “trumps hate”. I promise to fight with you for all people so that we can keep progressing.
Nicky, for you this means that someone else will get to decide the rights of your friends and classmates. That someone may get to say that – because they are muslim, an immigrant, black, latino, the child of refugees – they are not worthy of the same rights you are. That you, as an upper-lower class (there is not fucking middle class) white male, are worth more in the world. I can only hope that you have heard everything we have taught you – that growing up with parents who have taught love above all else, you will continue to love your neighbors. That you will stand beside your friends and their families and say “I see you, I love you, we’re in this together.” From this moment forward, I will be a better example of this – I will be a better example of “loving thy neighbor” like my parents and church taught me.
Maggie, for you this means that someone else will have a voice in your reproductive rights – that there is a chance someone will be able to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own body. I’m pro-choice – but here’s a little background info. 7+ years ago, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. I had not been with Nick’s dad for very long (5 months I think) – I hadn’t even begun to think about a life together. I had just turned 21, my mind was focused on having fun and enjoying life. A baby did not fit with that. Sitting in the living room of the house I rented with friends, we had a very open and honest conversation about the fact that I was pregnant. We talked about abortion – that if I made that decision, he would support me. We talked about adoption – that if I made that decision, he would support me. We talked about having the baby – that if I made that decision, he would support me. Throughout the entire conversation, there was never a question that it was my decision to make – and I had made my decision the minute the stick said +. What was important in that was my right to choose. MY CHOICE. I’m the child of an unplanned pregnancy who was adopted by the BEST, MOST DESERVING parents in the world – because my birth mother was allowed that choice. I was allowed a choice and – should you find yourself in that situation someday – you, my beautiful daughter, deserve that choice. And you deserve to know that your family and friends will love and support you through anything. You also deserve the right to Planned Parenthood. I remember being an angsty teenager about to have sex – I know I could have talked to my mom about it and she would have helped me through that phase of life. But, like any angsty teenager, I needed to do it on my own. I needed Planned Parenthood. I needed something beyond the “abstinence only” sex-ed I was taught in high school. Planned Parenthood was my lifeline as a teenager and as a broke, uninsured college student. They gave me my first pap smear, my first breast cancer check, my first real and honest conversation about reproductive health. They empowered me to feel confident in my sexuality and in being a woman. You deserve that too. Because you are an awful lot like me, you will likely be an angsty teenager. You will know that I am always there, but you will need to do it yourself. And I hope, HOPE that some asshole who doesn’t even have a vagina hasn’t defunded Planned Parenthood. I HOPE that a Supreme Court made up of mostly men hasn’t decided that they know best.
In this moment, in the aftermath of this election – your mother is frightened. For this one day, I’m going to feel scared and sad and terrified for your futures. I’m going to give myself today. Because tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a day for planning. For researching, for fighting, for connecting, for loving, for forgiving. Tomorrow will be a day for ensuring you have a future filled with choices. A future that YOU decide. Tonight, there will be hella wine. Tomorrow, mommy has work to do.