Yesterday morning I had the hard task of telling you who the next President of the United States will be.
Radley - you cried a little and asked how - "How could all those people think that he would be good?"
Emersyn - you said, "What?" followed by, "But will he really build a wall, Mommy?"
Landry - you were just confused and said, "But I voted for the Aggies."
(And let me tell you, love, get used to the heartbreak of them losing, too.)
Your dad and I are so surprised by how much you have paid attention these past weeks. We haven't talked specifically about the election much around here, because, well, Mommy watches Gilmore Girls more than the news. But between our conversations, what you see on TV and I'm sure what you've picked up at school - on your own you decided that you didn't want him to be your President.
And I didn't either. And not because of his policies.
I didn't want a man that disrespects women to be the model for my son.
I didn't want a man that encourages hate to lead this generation of youth.
I didn't want a man that threatens the underrepresented to be given more power and privilege.
I wanted better for us. For you.
And I still do. I always will.
These next few weeks will be especially hard as we will see the worst. The ugly in people will come out something strong. I've seen it already - the threats and the vandalism. The empowered inciting fear in the outnumbered.
But I've also seen the best.
I see the best each and every day in all three of you.
Your love for God.
Oh yes, I see it all in each encounter that we have.
So in that lies the hope of our future. Of your future.
And it reminds me that the hope also lies in me. You take my lead. How I react, you will react.
So I want to tell you a story...
I hugged a stranger waiting for an elevator today. I could see she was hurting and on the verge of tears, so I just grabbed her and held her and cried right along with her because I'm hurting, too.
It's okay for us to hurt. It's important for us to hurt.
We hurt for friends that feel marginalized and unseen. For loved ones whose voices have been muted.
We hurt for friends that really can't understand why some people are so upset by all of this - I especially hurt for them.
We exchanged names, this new friend and I, and then an hour or so later I received these words in my inbox....
"Of course I had to look you up and find you (lol, I hope you don’t mind). I was emotional before coming into work but now I am more emotional over our interaction. Again, you have no idea what that meant to me. This morning I sent a group text to my mom and sister explaining how I didn’t have the strength to paint on a fake smile and walk into work. I didn’t know how to counsel my students, laugh with them and be joyful when I felt such heartache. Thank you for having the strength to hug and cry with me. God knew what I needed and when I needed it. The fact that right before I walked into the elevator, he placed someone to give me courage and an extra push made me realize that it will be okay. How you said, we have a lot of work ahead of us but we are not alone. #wewillgetthroughthis"
Why am I telling you this?
(Especially since at this point you think that we shouldn't talk to strangers much less hug one.)
In the good.
In the kind.
In the voices that you carry.
I tell you this to let you know that the power of your privilege can bring privilege to others. Use your privilege for good. Use your voice to speak louder and stronger than the others. Carry a weapon of faith and goodness and love because that is far more powerful than hate and disrespect.
Shine your light by showing His love.
Jesus was the first "liberal" of the world. He helped the helpless, clothed the naked, prayed with the prostitutes and healed the sick.
Shine that light in this dark.
And if you feel like it, hug a stranger today.
I am proud of you. And I promise that we will do better.