I’m hopeful Biden will win, but this election is still heartbreaking. We wanted a landslide because it would prove that we were not so divided after all. That over the last four years, people had seen Trump for who he really is and come to their senses. Welp. We were wrong about that. No matter who wins, half this country voted for a liar who loves to sow division. Everyone can see that. They just chose him anyway.
When my kids woke up on Wednesday morning, I told them that it was still very close and we probably wouldn’t know the winner for several days. Mazzy was watching the news with me this morning and kept asking me questions with every number that popped up. “That’s bad right?” “Is that good?” “What does that mean?” After explaining how it was all broken down by state and trying my best to get her to understand how the electoral college works, she seemed uneasy. “I don’t like this,” she said, echoing my own anxiety. “Why did so many people vote for him?” I admitted that I did not understand it either.
Then I suggested we look at the numbers for NYC. We looked it up and so far, 85% voted for Biden. I told her that we are very lucky to be surrounded by good people who care about decency and community and want to protect each other. Then I said, living in NYC also makes us feel that we are in a larger majority than reality, which is why it all comes as such a shock. I told her to feel very proud of our great city.
After I dropped the kids off at school, I decided to take my own advice. I walked to Washington Square Park and sat on a bench to listen to a street performer play the piano.
He was playing Tracy Chapman’s “Give me one reason to stay here.” It goes…
“Give me one reason to stay here.
And I’ll turn right back around
Said I don’t want to leave you lonely
You got to make me change my mind.”
On Election Day, Harlow had come home with an “I Voted” sticker on her shirt and told me that her school had an election. They voted for “Wacky Wednesday” or “Fan Friday” to be a theme day at school. Harlow voted for Wacky Wednesday because she wants to do something crazy with her hair.
When I asked her who won, she said, “We don’t know yet. They have to count the votes.” When I picked her up on Wednesday afternoon, I asked again. “Did you find out who won yet??”
“It’s a lot of votes, Mom! It wasn’t just a class vote. IT WAS THE WHOLE SCHOOL.”
I guess Harlow has a lot more patience than I do! And kudos to her school for modeling what our election actually looks like this year.
When Mazzy got home, she told me to open my laptop and wanted to show me a map she was studying at school during lunch. She showed me how far ahead Biden was at the time, seeming pretty certain her would win. She knew the number of electoral votes that both candidates currently held and the names of which states were still being decided and where they were favored to go. She had the facts all memorized and was so excited to potentially give me new information. I think I am too traumatized by 2016 to make any call with certainty, but it gave me so much pride to see Mazzy’s positivity and how invested she is in the outcome.
We also talked about the popular vote. Yes, it’s disappointing how many people voted for Trump and that this election is so close. But it’s also true that more people voted for Biden than any other candidate in history. It’s not a landslide, but this is still something.
Last night, while we were eating dinner, I looked out our window and noticed that the Empire State Building was lit up in blue. Same fot the Con Edison building. It was like the NYC skyline was willing the vote to go in our favor.
Then my sister sent me a video of people peacefully marching outside her window. They were chanting, “I believe that we will win.”
I hope NYC is right.