What Do We Tell the Children?

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Donald Trump Won – What Do We Tell the Children?

When you finally wake up this morning and dare to sneak a peek at the election results, you might be left with one question: Donald Trump won NOW what do we tell the children? If you have spent much time talking to them about the election, the candidates, watching the debates together, giving them the opportunity to form their own opinions, discussing what kind of character is essential for a president, AND THEN TAKING THEM TO SEE YOU VOTE – today might start off rough.

Honestly I need Kahlua for my coffee.

Because NOW we must look our children in the eyes and tell them the truth about our country.

Which Truth?

Today I am going to wake up and sit down at the breakfast table with my five children and their dad and we will tell them the truth. We will talk with them about why we voted for Hillary and why so many people did not. We will talk about what happens when groups of people are angry or they do not like the way the government has been going. Then we will attempt to explain why so many in our country believe this man will be able to help them with the things they fear or need.

What do we tell the children? It might sound something like this:

The hardest truth for me this morning- It wasn’t just one group of entitled white people who thought Trump would do better. It was also LGBTQ, people of color and men and women, poor and rich people too. (side note for us grownups: YES – even church people voted for Trump. Actually I am probably most upset about the percentage of my former people representing a Trump Yes.If you are looking for a reason why my husband and I left Evangelical Christianity and why we won’t be raising our children in those pews – here is your sign.)

And NOW we need figure out how to hug it out, or scream it out and live with what others have chosen for us.

Because let’s be clear: we didn’t choose this man. And neither did any of the people you love. Sometimes however life has moments where our first choice for ourselves or our families and communities is not something which works out. This is what losing looks like and feels like. Yes, it hurts. Yes, we can be sad and angry. It is OK to cry or want to scream, but let’s not take it out on one another.

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Here is ONE TRUE PLACE.

Our home is still a safe place. We will still work to make our yard the safest yard on the block for all the neighborhood kids. Our front porch will continue be where our friends and family gather to talk it out with us. We will still go to school at home. Dad still has his job. And mom will continue to write. Pappy and Grammy, Uncle Johnny and Aunt Cat, Madi, Maisie, and Nora – all our people are safe and happy and healthy. We are OK.

The family Daddy and I spent the last two decades building together and the one Grammy and Pappy have spent four decades building – is very much intact and whole.

We still love one another. We love you. And we are going to keep loving others the best we know how. Even Mr. Trump – who let’s be real we know he is not a nice man. Yes, he is a bully. Yes, he says cruel and unkind things. But we will work really hard together to make this country and city a safer, healthier, happier place for our family and those we encounter along the way.

We will do this by being a light in the dark places. We will do this by being SAFE PEOPLE. We will do this by standing beside those Trump wants to remove away from us.

The only difference between yesterday and today – is that NOW we are facing life with a different man in the White House. This happens every four to eight years or so. It will happen again.

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What About Having a Woman President?

I know your heart was really set on a woman being our president. Well it would appear the country needs a bit more time to work out its issues with women. There is still much respect and equal acceptance of women needed.

Perhaps four years of living under a misogynist will help us wake up a bit more.

Sometimes we really have to hurt before we can change direction and find healing.

However we are not responsible for everyone’s beliefs and ideas. All we can be responsible for is HOW we treat others.

So, we treat women with kindness, decency, and respect. We look them in the eyes, we listen to their stories, and we value their choices. We understand we have no rights to their bodies. When they tell us they have been hurt or they hurt for whatever reason, WE BELIEVE THEM. We will work hard to promote the women we know – in their small businesses, as they pursue an education, as they stay at home with children, and as they go about their work.

This has always been true of our family – we seek out working women to meet the needs we need met. These women are our pastors, doctors, lawyers, photographers, artists, real estate agents, bankers, engineers, and friends.

The best thing we can do is to be FOR them. This is still true of us.

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As Girls what does this mean for you – can you be president?

I don’t know anymore. I would like to think so – but it appears not FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

Here’s what we can do if you think you would like to have a job in politics then I will vote for you. I will be the crazy stage mom. And we will help you learn what being a politician and leader means. We will work on getting the best education we can craft together.

You CAN choose many different things to be and do in your life – being a girl doesn’t keep you from having choices, but it might be hard. It is going to be really hard. You are going to have to work for what you want.

Because our country is not 100% there yet when it comes to accepting the awesomeness of women.

That doesn’t mean we hide our awesome or dull our shine. We don’t stop shining brightly simply because someone doesn’t like our light or because they try very, very hard to snuff our light out. We sparkle anyways.

What does God have to do with it?

One thing I have learned is NOT TO blame people’s anger, choices, or stupidity on Jesus. He didn’t do this. Broken, entitled people did. I believe the stories in the Bible teach us about God. People have asked for a certain kind of leading man before and God gave it to them exactly as they had asked. He gave them Saul – calling him as king even when he was hiding in the baggage. And he proved to be exactly what Samuel warned the people he would be as a ruler.

Trump will be exactly what we who can see – anticipate him to be.

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Trump might not have been who God would have chosen, but she gives us the free will to choose. NOW we live with the consequences of what electing this man means for our families, our country, and the people of the world. Because this election and choice is not just about America. It is about the world too.

Our God is a global God.

She knows. He sees. For God so LOVED the WORLD. Not just the USA.

I also believe scripture when it says God promised to never leave us nor forsake us – so we trust what that promise means. We aren’t alone …. Ever.  Even when our neighbors, family, and friends have chosen someone we find to be the opposite of what we believe to be honest, pure, true, and good for us as a nation. Even when their choice makes us feel alone, scared, angry, and hurt.

We accept their right to make the choice they made – even though we didn’t make it or even understand it. We extend to them what we hope they would extend to us – decency and compassion – anyways.

Even when we think they have completely lost their fucking minds.

And we’ll see how it goes.

♥J.

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