Today was monumental: Donald Trump was elected president.
But it was monumental in a far away, not happening here sort of way. At least today. Call it disbelief, if you will.
Here in California, my Facebook feed – of friends and members of my community – was smeared thick with anger and grief. I hunched over the screen, alone, silently swiping my thumb up my smart phone.
This morning, the baby’s final night feeding ended just a half hour before my alarm was set to sound. So I lay back in bed, and picked up my phone. My husband had already left for the gym while it was still dark out. I marvelled at his commitment, while snuggling deeper under the covers. They smelled like me, like countless nights waking and nursing, like my hair, my skin, and a faint hint of my milk. I made a mental note to change the sheets soon. I clicked on my phone’s news app, and scrolled through articles puzzling through the night’s outcome. Then, from the comfort of my own bed, I watched Donald Trump deliver his acceptance speech from the other side of the country. What was this marvel of technology I had in my hand!
I rose and readied the children for school. My youngest came from her room froggy and droopy. Poor girl. A cold had taken hold during the night. I made a pot of tea, poured the cereal, and heard the tell-tale yowl from the nursery. Amid nursings and diapers, I managed to drive us all to school, with my little sicky in tow back home.
As it was Wednesday, I decided to go to the farmers market down at the Vets’ Building. It was a small strip of stalls today. I saw all familiar faces of the bakers, artists, and farmers I had grown to know over the past few years. My little girl helped me push the stroller in the sunshine as we tasted grapes and bagged pears, plums, and a persimmon. There was no talk of the election. The baker woman held animated conversations with my daughter’s blue monkey. The farmer in the white mustache advised me that my type of persimmon is ripe when it’s bright orange, and crisp like an apple.
On the drive home, I handed a pear out my window to a homeless woman at a traffic light.
The afternoon consisted of too many cartoons, and a variety of nursing, holding the baby, or scurrying from the baby to do a chore or two. It felt like a whole lot of nothing. but it never stopped. I held text conversations with my friends about our reactions to the election. I watched my youngest perk up when her sister came home and invited her to ride bikes outside. I smiled: she was going to be just fine.
My husband came home in the evening, smiling, and tired. He reclined on a wooden chair in the kitchen and chatted with me while I stood at the stove, mashing and salting the refried beans. Same as any day. Yet my heart always perks up in his company.
Today was monumental and ordinary. I’m slowly typing with one hand, holding the baby with the other. My oldest just came into the room, brushing her teeth, dressed in a nightgown and wearing woggling heart-shaped antennae on her head. She was beaming broadly, a swell of toothpaste threatening to drip off her lip. What a goose.
Today will go down in history, whatever the future holds. But it’s the ordinary details of the day of a mother of three young children, that may be lost. It’s these details that may prove to be just as important. Because a nation is made up of people. And each person has a life: one which began very small, and as a part of a family. Just as we are now. Which makes these ordinary days feel more important – their details shining more brightly in memory, as they march forward into adulthood, and into shaping and voting their very own nation of the future – just as we are now.