"You cry and you scream and you stomp your feet and you shout. You say, 'You know what? I'm giving up, I don't care.' And then you go to bed and when you wake up the morning after bleary eyed and grumpy - you realize that things remain unchanged"
I sat glued to the idiot box, watching the seas of red and the small splotches of blue - Poof! the dreams of breaking the glass ceiling of politics in the USA and having our first female president - shatters. I gulp down a glass of wine in disbelief and yet another one ( I am a lightweight drinker and the two glasses are enough to give me a pounding headache which is now playing a symphony with my aching back (sprain)...). And I lay my head on my arm and I weep...I weep for myself and I weep for all those women who had dared to hope along with HER.
Getting up in the morning, the headache is still there - I feel a small tug on my arm and K2 asks me - Ma, is Trump still the President? Will he throw us out of this country? My heart breaks for my son....the only country he knows is this one...he was born 5 miles away from where we live. I had told him a lot of stories about the country that I had said Good Bye to twenty years back - the country which in my mind still has ways to go when it comes to equality for women ... and THAT country had it's first woman prime minister in the 1960's --- more than 50 years back.
I got an email from friends and family who asked me - so what are you telling K2 about the elections? I said - I have no words....all I feel now is intense grief, shock and disbelief in the way things played out. I have always stayed away from expressing my political opinions - my father was in the Civil Services and his career depended on the politics played by the different parties in Tamil Nadu and we had learnt to wear a veneer of detachment ( even though inside there was a seething cauldron!). But today I refuse to hide my dismay at the way things played out...
And here's what I told my 10 yr old son :
- We live in a democracy and the majority have spoken. Your Ma is upset because she expected a different result -- and no the new President can't kick you out of this country - there are checks and balances in the system (always!).
- We don't always get the results we want - I gave him the example of his school elections - where he thought he really had the best plan for the school and he lost the elections - the important thing is trying and trying again ( and that's what she did - she believed in this country and she really pushed hard for what she believed was right)
- I told him- Let's please try and make sure we are practicing love and compassion, even for people with different opinions ( the ones who think justice has been served) - so hard right now but we have to try accepting with grace. Doesn't mean we give up and not try to change things ( speaking of which have you SIGNED THIS)
But that is where I left it with my boy and he got it. Your conversation might be a bit different from mine but don't be afraid to show your children that you are not ok with the decision, but you are dealing with it from a place of love and grace and teach them about the meaning of democracy...we have a lot to say about this but let's say it in a way that makes it count.