The Morning After the Election

Was a little traumatic.

It had been a long night.

Lucy the Maude was 11 days old, and we spent the night in various levels of semi conscious nursing. Drifting in an out of sleep, but never really resting, because there’s a baby attached to me. Lucy the Maude is very, very attached.

My alarm went off at 6 am. I had set it the day before the election so I could get to the polls before the lines, so I could be home on time to care for my brood of 5, plus my friend’s brood of 5*, on that adventurous election day. Election day had been preceded by good sleep and early morning.

The early morning post election…was less than welcome.

Husband got up to silence my alarm, and crawled back into bed with my phone. He’s not the lie-around-in-bed-with-a-phone type, but this is the morning after election.

So I asked him. “Who won?”

“Trump took it.”

And then I felt sick. And a little panicked. And then sick some more.

Those three words still make me cringe. I didn’t realize how badly I didn’t want him to win until he won. I hadn’t given enough serious consideration to the possibility.

All morning, sound clips and footage I’d seen of Trump kept running through my head. And my husband’s three words, “Trump took it.” And it’s possible I cried, but I’m not admitting to that. Or I’ll blame it on being 11 days postpartum.

I looked at my daughters–newborn, toddler, preadolescent–and it was hard.

I looked at my sons–grade schoolers–and it was hard.

I thought of my new american friends, recently arrived from Africa and the middle east–mostly muslim–and it was hard.

I thought of my years on the US-Mexico border in Texas and New Mexico, of all the people there–and it was hard.

At the end of the day, it was still hard.  But at the end of the day, I was no longer in a state of panic.

Because at at the end of the day, this is what I had:

  1. a text from my husband, expressing his love for me and referring me to 2 Kings 6:16.
  2. My five beautiful children, safe and sound and growing.
  3. Health insurance that made Mr. the Roger’s dermatology appointment possible
  4. A date with Mr. the Rogers for a post-dermatology donut
  5. A text conversation with some dear (Muslim, immigrant) friends. They were frank about their disappointment, but that was dwarfed by their gratitude to live in a democracy, by their patriotism, by their support of the parts of Trump they agreed with. Their pragmatism, optimism, and confidence was an example and a blessing to me.
  6. Speeches from Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump expressing graciousness towards one another and belief in the peaceful transition of power. That they were saying these things instead of inciting violence is so rare in the course of human events that I feel blessed to witness it.
  7. Trust in God’s love for me, you, that orange haired man, and the people he doesn’t understand***

Am I happy with the outcome of the election? No.

Do I worry about what sort of damage may be done? Yes…but..

He is one man.

He is (blessedly) not my husband. Or your husband, probably.

He is a child of God. And so are the people who voted for him. And they, like the hypothetical immigrant terrorists he fears, like me, like you, can all grow.

Contrary to every pop song ever, we can choose how we feel. It’s hard, it takes practice, but it’s possible.

I can choose to love instead of fear. I can choose to love** at all times, and in all things and in all places.

Because, unlike the outcome of this election, this is something I can control.

God bless those who voted, and those who did not. God bless the president, even if he must be the orange haired man, to make wise and good choices. God bless us to not freak out and hate our neighbors and countrymen over their various feelings about the orange-haired man, or because of their fears. God bless us to choose love over fear, to choose acting over being acted upon.

God bless America.

 

*Yes, at 10 days postpartum, we spent the day with 10 kids. It’s less daunting than it sounds. Friend’s kids are ridiculously well behaved children. Also, I had my mother in law and brother in law with me, helping with cooking and cleaning and kitchen window replacement. They’re remarkable humans. Also, I had salt and vinegar chips, and lunchmeat and a plethora of other delicious, easy things to eat, also courtesy of friend. Election day was a good day. It was the last day I could fantasize over having my favorite candidate elected against all odds.

 

**See also: Stand as a witness of God

***that’s a lot of people.

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Fair Warning

I began in Germany in 1988.

Because of this, it would appear that I cannot donate blood. You know, in the off chance that I contracted Mad Cow disease as an infant.*

This is a tragedy, since I believe strongly in blood donation. It saves lives.

We’re all about life around here, most specifically the honoring, caring for, and keeping of life.**

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Jane the Austen, homeschooling with power tools.

Husband and I are the fortunate caretakers of five lovely offspring:

Jane the Austin, born in the Mountain West, is a violinist, avid knitter, and prolific reader. She  aspires to be a violinist-astronaut-Mom, and return to her ancestral home of Northern Alaska to teach elementary school, not unlike Miss Agnes.

Clive the Staples, born in the South, is also somewhat musical, but prefers playing chess and running around with swords to reading. He has a very deeply rooted sense of justice. He aspires to serve a mission and be a Dad.

Mr. the Rogers, also born in the South, loves swordfighting with Clive Staples, reading with Jane Austin, warring (and occasionally peace-ing, or conspiring) with Katherine the Great, and eating pickled herring.  He aspires to be a firefighter.

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Clive the Staples. And Easter eggs.

Katherine the Great, born in the Pacific Northwest, sings better than the rest of the tribe, but does little in the way of speaking. She manages to get her points across anyway. She is affectionately referred to by her older siblings as the Miniature Dictator. She aspires to eat all the cheese.***

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Mr. the Rogers, photo cred: child. Most of the photos on this blog will probably be from the offspring.

 

 

Lucy the Maude (or, The Nursling), is our first New England born child. She loves to nurse, sleep, poop, and make faces and grunting noises that delight the rest of us. She is growing accustomed to our antics. She aspires to live in my arms all her waking and sleeping hours, but fortunately will also tolerate Husband, Jane Austin, and Clive Staples when nature calls.****

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Katherine the Great, in her natural habitat (read: chaos). She may or may not have something to do with my comforting of Clive Staples.

Besides our adventures with offspring, we’ve also fostered cats (for days on end), and neighborhood children (for days to years on end, depending on the child.).

At the commencement of this blog, we find ourselves in the urban wilds of New England, where we have adventures in cultural exchange with immigrant and refugee friends, play music with music friends, attend church with church friends, do fancypants stuff with university friends, and haunt the auspicious halls of Fancypants University***** (where Husband aspires to become a physicist).

We educate the offspring at home, which means despite having siblings, church friends, international friends, music friends, fancypants university friends, and neighborhood friends, my children’s social and emotional development is highly suspect, and must come under the most austere scrutiny and judgement you can muster.******

We generally cause mayhem by virtue of our fecundity and appalling lack of skinny jeans. We are not the millennials you read about in the Washington Post, despite husband’s HAWT black rimmed glasses and my sordid history of growing organic kale.

I aspire to write things, from grocery lists to blogs to novels.

Consider yourself warned.

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Husband and Offspring feed me in bed on occasion, most especially around Mother’s Day and my birthday. And yesterday. They’re good and kind and wise like that. They also make excellent greeting cards.

 

 

 

*Just ask my children when we’re on a bad day. The jury is definitely out on this one.

**Intentional and unintentional. I’m looking at you, moldy leftovers.

***This is actually characteristic of all the offpspring, but most especially so for K the G.

**** There may be bathroom humor in this blog. I am going to blame it all on Clive Staples’ influence, and/or the approximate 12,000+ diapers Husband and I have changed in the last decade.

*****FU for short. Is that too much? Maybe it’s too much.

******Because, you know, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to become a well balanced human being unless you spend the first 12 years of life raising your hand to ask permission to pee and voting for which of your peers most deserves to wear a crown and be applauded for…crown wearing. However, I digress.