Monday, November 7, 2016

November 8, 2016

            Tomorrow it will finally be over. The most stressful presidential election campaign in recent memory will be history, and we will all move on.
            And finally, the story will become what we have long been neglecting: For the first time in the 240 years of these United States of America, a woman will have been elected president.
            I will keep this in the forefront of my mind as I walk into the voting booth tomorrow. I will think of the famous women who have served as trailblazers in our country, from Harriet Tubman to Susan B. Anthony to Amelia Earhart to Eleanor Roosevelt to Oprah Winfrey.
            I will think of my grandmother, Anne Hynes, who was a tremendous bank clerk, but whose gender and family obligations kept her in that position, even as she trained the man who would eventually run the bank.
            I will think of my mother, just a year older than Hillary Clinton, who was told as a young woman that she had two career choices – nursing or teaching. She chose the latter, and did a tremendous job of it. But what else could she have excelled at had she been given the opportunity? Those of us who know her can tell you: A whole lot.
            I will think of my wife, who like so many mothers in our generation has juggled the “mommy trap” of full-time job and full-time parenting, finding a way to make every school function and game and cookie-baking for our girls, while also shining at her job each day.
            I will think of all the young women I worked with in the sports department of my college newspaper, who did not pay attention to professional stereotypes and knew that glass ceilings were ultimately made to be shattered.
            I will think of the supervisors I have had in my jobs, so many of them women, who have led newspaper sections, English departments, schools and school districts with tremendous skill – all while also leading their own families as well.
            I will think of my female students, who have soared through their academic careers and into every conceivable profession – from education to medicine to writing. I will like their proud social-media posts tomorrow, and I will wonder if one day I might find myself voting for one of them.
            And, of course, I will think of my two daughters, who at 14 and 11 believe they can do anything they set their minds to doing. When they awake Wednesday morning, they will believe that even more.
            It has been a hard election, and we all know that. But tomorrow is a day for history, and a day to celebrate. I’m going to do that. Whatever your political viewpoint may be, I hope you will find a moment to acknowledge this too. It has been a long time coming. I’m glad the wait is over.

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