Crossposted from Everyday Mom.
Post-election day, and this will be my memory forever:
Waking up, my husband, who's been up for an hour, tells me the Democrats have taken the House, and that two Senate races are still too close to call.
NPR is turned on.
My oldest daughter, Samira, ambles in, wearing her fuzzy purple PJ's, and heaves herself over me to cuddle from the other side of the bed. I tell her what's going on, and that our family is happy about the new political turn.
We start to talk about how Nancy Pelosi will become the Speaker of the House. I tell her what an important position this is. We've been talking over the past few days about Congress, the Senate, the House of Representatives, though it's still a bit abstract. I tell her that Nancy's from San Francisco, and that rings a bell of familiarity. I tell her how our country has never had a woman in such a singularly powerful position before, how we've never had a chamber of Congress run by a woman.
And I thought to myself: never by a woman who is also a mother, who is also a mother, yes, of five children. At 66--the age that many Americans dream of retiring by--Nancy Pelosi is at her peak and moving ahead. I and so many women I know who are in our middle years, who had careers that zoomed quickly and moved fast, and which we assumed would follow the usual path journeyed by men, by mythical men who keep moving ahead (as opposed to real life men, whose careers too, often falter in middle age), here's yet another example of a woman who had major caretaking responsibilities, and in a few months will be Speaker. This adds extra inspiration to me, and probably to others of us who wonder whether life's public options peter out after these middle, caretaking years, or whether second and third acts lay ahead for us all.
And then we roused ourselves from the comfy pile of pillows and blankets, pulled on some clothes, woke the baby (I'm here to report that miss 4 am can now be called SlumberBaby--she has slept through the night twice in a row...), and headed downstairs to make breakfast, pack the day, feed miss SlumberBaby, and in every sundry way, begin the new day.
There will be tons of specific political commentary, today, over the next few days and weeks. But here at home, what matters is the new sense of hope and possibility.