Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bounce back

I just don't bounce back like I used to. Back in the day, staying up past 1 a.m. was not a problem. I even got up early the next day, showered and looked fluffy for work, and was good to go after a cappuccino. Not so much today. I realize that when this is in the paper, it will be Friday. But today is Wednesday, and boy oh boy do I have an election hangover. I watched it all, and held on to see President Obama speak, after watching Mitt Romney give a way classy concession speech, only to wake up at around 4:30 or so, to an incredibly loud infomercial. I hope by Friday, this exhaustion will have left my body. 

I voted for Obama. I am very happy that he won. I also understand all those who are not happy today, because if Obama had lost, I would be not just tired today. I would have been terribly sad. 

There is so much division in our country. Some days, just explaining things to my girls when they question me, leaves me scrambling to find the words. I am, at times, rendered speechless. Who can marry who, gender inequality, equal choice for women, health care issues, kids have big ears, and this house of ours, is tiny. They hear David and I discuss issues that we are both passionate about. They are at the age where they want in on every conversation. We keep it light, and tell them minimal facts. Of course our opinion will come into the conversation, but I want my girls to believe what they want. I will steer them to be good, productive citizens. I will not tell them what to believe. 

Charlotte came home from school yesterday, with election day work sheets. One of them had information about both Obama and Romney, such as date of birth, political party, etc. Charlotte had scribbled out Romney's face. I chuckled to myself, and thought, wow, they have really been paying attention around here. Later, at dinner, Olivia was telling us how a classmate had been making fun of Obama at school, and that his parents said he was stupid. Olivia seemed shocked. I said to her that being President, or even running for President, requires lots of school, and incredible intelligence. I explained to the girls how very smart both candidates are, and how both of the candidates ultimately want what is best for America. 

So today, I am tired. And I am very happy that my President will be around for another four years. But I understand the disappointment and even anger that many have that Mr. Romney did not win. But I truly hope that, as I explained to my girls at dinner, we can all come together for the good of us all. That obstruction will cease, and now the real work can begin. My family and I are way better off than we were four years ago. Four years ago, I watched Obama win, and we had nothing. David had been laid off. We were feeding our kids with food stamps. Four years later, sure, we are struggling. Some weeks, really really struggling, but we are still standing, and we are getting somewhere. 

My hope is for this country. My hope is that we can cross these great divides between us all, and let it all really get better. We might be Democrats, or Republicans, or whatever party, or no party at all.

 But we are all Americans. 

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