We kept our daughters out of school today. My wife and I value education, but today is a rare day where there is nothing to be taught in the classroom that would outweigh what they could learn at home.
This morning, my wife put on a shirt bearing the Kamala Harris quote “I’m Speaking” and gathered her daughters on the couch. She had intermittent tears as Amy Klobuchar spoke about the grit of the country and as Lady Gaga sang the national anthem.
This is not to be political, but I need to rewind four years to get the impact of what she is feeling. Four years ago, my wife had been sure that a glass ceiling was going to be smashed and the first woman would hold the office of President of the United States. When Hillary Clinton lost, Adrienne was devastated.
Sure, she was upset about who had won. But more specifically, she was upset about what the loss said about our country. She was crushed that a woman, regardless of how qualified she may be, could not get the support to hold the country’s highest office. She thought less of her country because she felt she was worth less in it. It was a sentiment shared by my sister, my mother and I’m sure millions of women around the country.
Fast forward to today. My wife, sitting in her “I’m Speaking” shirt, hugging her little girls and a little champagne celebrating something long overdue. She watched as Kamala Harris took her oath of office and was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States. A woman who represents a shattering of a ceiling for my wife and kids, but that isn’t the only ceiling she left broken. Women of color, Asian American people have reason to sit with their children and their champagne.
Twelve years ago, a ceiling was broken, and a large swath of people got to feel like they finally had a seat at the big table, but half of our country had never had that feeling. Today marks a day where we can be more honest with our daughters and say, “you can be anything you want to be” without the asterix that we used to have to apply to it.
In our house, today is the best day we’ve had in a while. Of course, there have been great days. The girls got a trampoline for Christmas for God’s sake, but today speaks to more about front flips. Today is the first day in this country’s two-hundred-year history that the fairer sex officially has a seat at the table.
So, the lesson here my young ladies, is a big one. You can do anything you want to in life. Full stop. There are cracks in each of your ceilings that weren’t there yesterday. It warms me to know that my mother, my sister, my aunt, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and my niece got to see this. It warms me that my wife and daughters can walk a little taller today. It warms me to see that my country was able to give these things to my family.
Enjoy your time on the couch today, girls, and pamper your Mommy a little. But tomorrow is a new day. You have no excuse for not being president in a few years. You have a lot of work to do.