Last night as Mini-me and Blue-eyed boy were getting ready for bed I started having a chat with my lovely girl about what would prove to be a momentous day – for all the wrong reasons.
It went a bit like this…
“Tomorrow when you wake up hopefully something amazing will have happened?”
“What? Will it be about chocolate Mummy?!”
“Um, no, better than chocolate. If things go the way we’d like and all our friends would like you’ll be going to school with a woman having gained the most powerful job in the world. That’s really great isn’t it.”
“Well it means that if you work very hard and treat people with kindness and respect you can grow up to be literally anything you want to. If you wanted you could be Prime Minister of this country.”
“Um, okay… Can I have the iPad for 10 minutes before I go to sleep?!”
Well, it would be a bit hard to expect a five year old to fully grasp the importance of what was, until a few hours ago, a seemingly very real possibility.
The terribly sad thing though is that now Mini-me may not grow up knowing Hillary Clinton’s name, or body of work, or 30 years of service to the American people.
She will of course be all too familiar with a certain orange-hued idiot who whipped up the entire globe into a frenzy over joking about sexually assaulting women, made highly questionable comments about women and people of different races in general, and appeared on a national debate stage without, to my mind anyway, saying much of substance at all.
Unless of course you think the best way to defeat Isis is to have a ‘really good, effective policy plan’ but not tell anyone any of those all-important finer details because then you’ll be, what was it, giving the game away.
Oh and immediately getting rid of affordable healthcare for everyone in your country.
And building a wall to keep out ‘rapists’, and banning an entire religious people from your shores etc etc
Today I, and many, many people we know, feel as despondent and despairing as we did months back on June 24. But it’s even worse than that.
Instead of telling my girl that Hillary Clinton has achieved the near impossible, I can only tell her that it was, in fact, impossible.
I could tell her about the ‘victory’ of the politics of hate, division and fear. I could tell her that America apparently isn’t ready for a woman to run its country. I could paint the picture of a man who got into office in all probability on the basis of promises he now can’t keep and a nation of people irrevocably and violently pitted against each other.
But I’m not going to.
Instead I’ll choose to tell her that sometimes we have to take a different path than the one we hoped for and thought would happen.
I’ll tell her about the woman who, whatever your view of her, tried her best to be a symbol of hope against a vision of hate and isolationism.
I’ll show her videos of Michelle Obama speaking eloquently and with passion and pride and hope with her that maybe she will stand in four years’ time.
I’m still hopeful that when Mini-me is nine she can watch, like I did back in 2008 when Barack Obama made that amazing speech, history being made for all the right reasons.
Because yes we can, we still can, if we keep on believing.