Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We Make Good Ceilings, Don’t We?

I’m hoping for the best although the election didn’t go the way I wanted.  There isn’t a part of me that wants to watch it all burn to prove a point.  I truly hope the President elect does a great job and a bunch of us are proven wrong. 

But there is something else.

I won’t speculate as to what he will and won’t do and who he will or won’t do it to.  I want to talk about my morning.  I went to bed between midnight and 1:00 this morning and woke up at the crack of 3:30.  My wife, mother and sister all went to bed in tears and I knew that my girls wouldn’t be taking this well either.  I sat on my couch for a few hours considering the conversations I would be having with the girls as they woke. 

Avery woke up on her own around 6:45.  She smiled and asked “did she win?”

“No sweetheart, she didn’t.”  She sat on my lap and put her arm around my neck.  We sat for a minute and I said “Everything will be all right.  Why don’t you go upstairs, mommy could use a hug.”

I sat for a minute longer not proud of myself.  I should have said more.  I felt like I had lied to her on some level.  I don’t think I believe that everything will be okay.  Things are still a little raw, but I think that something is broken in me that can’t be easily mended.  I don’t mean that with any hyperbole, as it was something that had been fraying for a while.  My faith in people in general has been diminished.

Upstairs, Macy had woken up and was in tears.  I knew this would be the case as she knew something was wrong last night.  Despite being 7 years old, she saw real value in a woman breaking the glass ceiling in this circumstance.  She didn’t understand how we could have 44 men and zero women.  It makes the Cubs futility streak look amateur.  When she first heard this 44 – 0 streak she didn’t believe it.  Ah, the optimism of youth. 

“Did she lose because she was a girl?”

NOTE: Those who want to chime in anything about emails, or private servers, get your own blog.  This one is for me and my girls. Now back to my morning.

I wanted to say ‘no’ but I didn’t.  I wanted to say that the country tried it differently last time around but just felt more comfortable with super rich, out of touch, old white guys, but I didn’t say that either.  The fact is that I didn’t have an answer and I didn’t want to lie again.  I believed that she was the better qualified, more experienced, more level headed candidate and that her fault, may in fact be related to what she pees from.  I didn’t say anything.  I hugged her for a minute, Avery too and sent them to get dressed. 

I woke up Darby, and true to her personality, she wanted to play immediately upon waking up.  We play a wake up game where a stuffed fish tries to eat her toes and fingers thinking that they are worms and her penguin tries to eat the fish.  Sounds stupid, sure, but it was exactly what I needed.  She asked if she could have some Lucky Charms, a breakfast generally reserved for an occasional Saturday morning, but I acquiesced.  Opportunistic little poop. 

My wife and oldest two girls ate quietly and Darby told us about the naughty fish. 

We went to go out the door and I hugged my wife goodbye.  To say she burst into tears would be an understatement.  I had sensed even last night that something much bigger was broken in her.  I hated leaving but endeavor to persevere, right?  I feel as though I hadn't handled anything right yet.

When we got into the car, Avery asked, “What can we do now?”

I asked her what she meant. 

“To help, what do we do now?”

I asked her what concerned her the most.  She said pollution and global warming.  Where she came up with that I have no idea, but I told her that we have to think about it.  I looked in the rear view and Macy was staring out the window, listless.  I turned on a song she loves and she smiled a little.  We pulled up to the school and she hugged me hard.  I kissed her and sent them on their way.  I didn’t make it out of the parking lot before I broke down. 

There is a lesson in here somewhere we just need to pick it up and hose it off.  To Avery, “What can we do now?” is the right question.  Don’t look back, look forward.  Keep your generous, compassionate heart, it’ll serve you well.  To Macy, yeah, she lost because she is a girl, at least partly.  She also made it farther than any woman ever has.  Mommy and I may take this as an indictment against this country, but you, Sweetheart, take it as a challenge.  You’re smart enough, kind enough, good enough to take the next step if that’s what you choose.  To Darby, keep that innocence as long as you can.  Play and laugh, darling, and make it last forever.  Finally, to my wife, I know it’s bad.  I know it’s easy to draw a straight line from this election to your gender and worth.  It’s bad math.  You’re my much better half although I don’t often admit it.  You’re the glue that keeps our little family unit going…pretty important stuff.  Lick your wounds today but tomorrow we have to dust off and figure out how to make the future better. 

And to my sister, in a bit of a break from my regular blog formula, keep up the fight.  Contrary to what you believe, you aren’t invisible; you’re just playing against a stacked deck.    If you give up, what hope do the rest of us have?  To be honest, the only reason I started giving a shit all those years ago was because of your passion.  Take a Xanax and knock back a beer or twelve but eventually you need to get back in the game. 

Now, I’ll put my soapbox away and go back to the regularly scheduled broadcast. 


  1. Another well-written article. Hopefully ALL of your girls take solace.

  2. Oh, Chris. Does it help to know you're not alone? I'm guessing there were an awful lot of parents this morning with no idea what to say to their daughters. I cuddled with Zoe and Sadie and said nothing. And hours later now, I've still got nothin'.

  3. I'm trying to keep up the fight, but right now I'm still in burn it to the ground mode. I have actually eliminated a few people from my life already and more will have to come. If I do get it in me to fight again, I'm not going to sit idly by and let the bigots off easy to avoid a fight... your girls deserve better!

  4. Might be your best post ever . . .