The first day of the month was a field trip with your grade to Wolfe's Neck Farm in Freeport. Every once in awhile, I am reminded about how lucky we are to live where we live. This was one of those moments. A gorgeously serene farm, overlooking the ocean from a pumpkin patch? Kind of delightful.
You and your pals learned quite a bit that day...had fun on the tractor ride to the pumpkin patch, learned about a few types of chickens, and touch the wool of a freshly sheared lamb.
Then there's swimming lessons...where you are finally in the big pool...or as you call it, the cold pool! And on the first day, I think Daddy and I lost a few years off our lives as we watched you vault into the deep end unrestricted...typically of most things you do, you showed no fear and launched right in.
Now onto something a bit more serious. November 8th. A monumental day. You have been aware, because you're at that age where you hear things at school, and who knows what and how you discuss things with your friends. This was a huge day for me, as your and Madeleine's mommy...I left early that morning to go to the local voting station, filled with hope, excitement, and promise for the future. For the first time in the history of our country, I filled in the bubble to vote for a woman for President. President of the United States of America. I felt so proud, so emotional...the enormity of this weight was massive.
There were ripples of excitement and anticipation all throughout the day as we just waited for it to end so we could get to the results. Madeleine went to bed and as I put her down in her crib, I whispered to her lovingly that today I voted for her future. Then you went to bed...and Daddy went to bed. And I stayed up to see the results pour in. The heartbreaking, unbelievable results. I think around 10 pm I started to lose my composure...I started to cry. Then it became clear that things were going so horribly wrong and I found myself unable to stop crying. How could this happen?
At work the next day, the only comfort I found was the fact that everyone was feeling the same way I was...and so we leaned on each other, not afraid to cry, not afraid to despair. Despair. That's what it is--in a way I've not ever felt in my adult life. It's important to me that you understand this fully...that you understand how I as your mother was/am affected by this...so that when you read this in the future, you'll know why what I'm about to say is so very necessary.
At this moment, you're way too young to understand fully (thank God!) that what lies ahead for us with the president-elect is fraught with anxiety, disbelief and utter insanity. And while you're too young to understand the implications of the next Presidency (for which I cannot and will not even say his name), this is a teachable moment. It is important, so important for you to understand, (as a white male with privilege), that just because someone is 'elected' into a position of great power, it does not mean that certain behaviors or actions are OK. I want you to grow up on a foundation of respect. Respect for any and everyone different than you. Respect for women. Respect for the environment around you and the planet you live on. Most of all, make decisions based on that respect, based on facts, and based out of love and understanding for the common person, rather than one on hate, rhetoric or vitriol. It's so critical now more than ever.
I have no idea what the next four years will bring and I can only hope that years from now, when history books look back on this time in American politics and culture, it is but a blip on the radar and that nothing too catastrophic had happened. What's done is done, and while in my heart, I fear for the futures of you and Madeleine, when I look into your sweet innocent faces every single day, I have to believe there is light and hope somewhere amidst all the darkness.
Each day gets a bit better---not because anything's changed, but because I've chosen to focus on other things...like not listening to the news anymore, and cranking up the Christmas music. Focusing on the season upon us in the eyes of you and your sister.
So November 8th came and went...
The weekend following the election was beautiful...stellar for mid-November. Sunday brought temps in the 50s, a sparkly cloudless day. We opted for a family hike to Morse Mountain. A 2 mile hike in the salt marshes that ends up on the beach. It was the perfect antidote to a terrible week. Nature soothes the soul and I was reminded of how lucky we are to live where we do.
As November came to a close, we saw some pretty amazing moons. It's hard to capture, but it's beautiful nonetheless.
Closing out November means starting the holiday season...Gardens Aglow, Feztival of Trees, Thanksgiving. As rough as November was, it's nice to focus on the magic of the season...especially with two of you. More to come.