She cried and put her blankets back over her head that morning after the famed election.
“Are the polls all in now?”, she asked when I woke her up on Wednesday, November 9th.
“Yes, they are all in,” I said hesitantly.
“Who won?”, she asked. I didn’t want to answer her question although, I thought she might have an idea because we had mentioned that we were worried the night before.
“Trump”, I said quietly because I didn’t know how to explain away all the things he had said about minorities, women, the disabled and some veterans. I didn’t know how to explain how we would live in a country that just elected this mean-spirited and bigoted man.
“Will they split up our family?” She asked. She had heard that Trump talked badly about LGBT people and that he was willing to turn the tides around and change the federal ruling for non-discrimination and marriage equality that the supreme court recently ruled on. She also heard of the “religious freedom” businesses were expressing in order to deny service to people if they didn’t believe in their lives.
I had to tell her that we would be ok. I had to tell her that nothing would change in our life. I had to tell her that we would always be there for her no matter what. I had to tell her that before the election, we already had legal protections in place so no one could stop us from being a family.
It took me a little longer to encourage her to get up for school that day because she didn’t want to go to hear the mean words of some of her classmates who support Trump (or more like the support of the family). I had to tell her we still had to go to school and I still had to go to work, even though we didn’t want to.
No child should have to worry about her family.
NOTE: After my post, I decided to see how other children reacted in addition to comments Alex heard at school. There is a lot of confusion. Watch this video to see other kids’ reactions.