What Would You Say?

Monday, January 23, 2017

At five years old, I try to shield my child from as much as I possibly can. Famine, war, and poverty are a few. The election was another. When his school held a mock election on Election Day, which I didn't agree with, my child voted opposite than us. He told me it was because his friend was doing it and he just doesn't like girls. That he had seen a commercial with Trumps face and he said "I approve this message" and that he seemed nice. What would you say? My dad told me not to say anything. He was five. It wasn't something to go into. But it hurt me at the core. That I couldn't talk to my five year old about the hateful things Trump was saying. The unethical things Trump had done. And that, in my personal opinion, he doesn't seem nice. What would you say?

On the day after the election, I cried. I cried for me, for my family, for my son, for his future. I cried that in one vote, many people told me that my life didn't have value. That as a woman, I didn't mean anything. That my Jewish husband didn't have rights. That my gay and lesbian friends, who I consider family, are not equal. In the words of my favorite 80s movie, "You shit on my house." And I still feel that way today. On that day, as I dropped him off at his classroom, he informed that he had heard in the restroom that Trump had won. I hadn't told him. I said I knew and that I didn't want to talk about it. That I didn't want him cheering or applauding or showing any emotion that day because his views were going to be different than others. That he might offend someone with his joy. And as I choked back tears, I asked him to do this for mama. What would you say?

On the way to school today, he informed me that his teacher said that parents may be watching the news regarding the current presidency. I told him I don't. I told him that I don't want to be sad anymore and watching the news about the current presidency makes me sad. If they continue to talk about this kind of thing in school, in Kindergarten mind you, he needs to know how I feel. It's my right to tell him. I told him that Trump has made it very clear that he doesn't like people like his Mama. That he doesn't like his Meme. That he says terrible things about girls. I asked him if he wanted someone like that in his life. Someone that doesn't like his Mama and Meme. I informed that he doesn't agree with Martin Luther King and what he stood for. That he doesn't want everyone to get along. That his sign doesn't say Everybody. Does he want someone like that running our country? And when McKinley told me I was breaking his heart, I told him mine was broken on Election Day. What would you say?

As we walked into school, I told McKinley that I don't want to talk about things like this with him. That when I talk about the current presidency, all I want to do is cry. I told him that what mattered to me most in this world was him. That everything I do, I do for him. (Nothing like quoting Bryan Adams on a Monday morning.) That everything I was doing, I was doing for a better future for him. A better world for him. A world that includes Equality, Civil Rights, Women's Rights. A world that he can be proud to live in. I'm trying to instill Humanity in this little five year old's soul. What would you say?

As I hugged and kissed him and told him to have a good day, I turned and left his classroom. As I walked down the hallway, I heard this little voice yell "Mama" and when I turned around, there he was, standing in the doorway. He waved and said "Bye, Mama." I walked back toward him, knelt down and held him for brief moment. I told him again how much I loved him, kissed him, and told him I would see him after school. What would you say?


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