I have reminded myself at least a hundred times in the last 24 hours that moms have one common trait - and that is: we get back up.
Lots of things knock us down - unkind words to our children, school systems that don't understand our children, hearing our children cry, and hearing our children explain in perfectly reasonable ways why something was unfair to them. We fall down, we get up. Rinse. Repeat. We get up because a little girl is looking up at us wondering what the hell happens when we fall.
The election results on Tuesday were a blow like no other. Straight to the gut. And what's worse? I basically brought my daughter into the fight to feel the pain, too.
I was so sure that we were going to be on the winning side, that I shared my excitement with Helen. I took her canvassing, I talked up Hillary, I tried to convey the importance of the situation. But what I didn't tell her, because she's 9 and surely deserves a few more years of believing in fairness and open societies, is that sometimes - maybe even often, when you put your heart on the line, someone or some powerful force squashes it.
My unwillingness to remember, maybe my wanting to ignore the fact that we live in a society of incrementalism, meant that Helen shared my expectation and her heart was crushed alongside my own.
Of course Hillary wasn't going to win. Getting her nominated was the best we were ever going to be able to do - and that was a huge leap forward.
Geraldine Ferraro made it on the ticket as the VP nominee in 1984 (I remember this, but in no way was I able to grasp the importance); 32 years later Hillary made it on the ticket as the Presidential nominee. Dear Lord, please don't make me wait 32 more years to actually get a woman elected to VP or President - because that's too long for Helen. She'll pretty much be my current age then, and I assure you she will have felt sexism in a hundred ways by then, she will have made career choices based largely on her gender, and she will have set dreams aside.
We are crushing yet another generation of girls. And that is too high a price to pay to keep the myth of men being better than women alive.
Soon, I will get back up. I will find a winnable fight and do the work to win it. Because that's what moms do. Every day.