This morning our family woke up to the news that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. Shock, dismay, sadness, fear – my husband and I felt it all, as we lay in bed awake next to a blissfully sleeping Frida.
So far 2016 has been a year full of political dismay. The U.K. voted, bafflingly and heartbreakingly, to leave the European Union. We have seen hundreds and hundreds of refugees – including children – die trying to reach Europe. There is seemingly still no meaningful action from any government on climate change. The list goes on and on and on. It is so easy to feel hopeless and desperate, to wonder what kind of a world we have brought our daughter into.
I did what I always do when I feel rubbish, and took Frida outside. Into the rain, which felt like fitting ablution for the world’s collective folly. We talked about those we loved, and about peace, and about insects, as I built a simple peace sign out of fallen leaves.
It feels like there is so little we can do to stem the tide of hopelessness. But raising strong, courageous, moral, bold, mighty children has got to count for something.
Treating our children with the respect we hope they will grow to show others, modelling compassion and empathy and cooperation and love rather than fear and punishment and conformity. Teaching them that it’s ok to speak out and question the status quo and to be loud and shake the foundation of things and break rules.
It feels like this new world, more than ever, is going to need to be met by people who can love fiercely, who can harness their energy and passion for the good, who will share and work together, who refuse to give into fear, and who can think outside of the narrow boundaries society crams us into.
Being a mother, gently raising a mighty child, has never felt like a more important job. For my family, for our community, and for our future.
A quiet revolution perhaps, but a revolution nevertheless.