From day one we have raised her to believe in herself and know that - without restriction - she is loved for all she is, all she will become, and all she will do.
From day one, we have not just stressed to her the understanding that all lives matter, but have truly and intrinsically lived this message and encouraged her to live it as well.
From day one, she's understood the strength found in being herself, loving herself, and she celebrates - enthusiastically - that each and every one of us has the ability to hold this same personal strength.
From day one, she has known others who are different - myself primary among them - and are just as strong, just as important, as she is and aims to always be.
From day one, we have instilled in her our UU principals, first and simply through our actions and beliefs, and secondly through our church community whom we've grown to love so much.
From day one, she's known that she is no more better or deserving than anyone else. Everyone has a seat at our table. (same message as previously mentioned but - it bears repeating, no?)
From day one, she has loved without limit. She knows, above all else, that "love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love."
From day one, we have fostered in her a deep love and respect for the earth she lives on and a great responsibility to take care of this home.
From day one, she has been curious about everything and her curiosity has been encouraged to grow, to reach, to examine, to believe.
From day one, her imagination has been made limitless, her ability to think and dream and create made to run deep and wide.
From day one, she's known, without a doubt, that the magic is inside of her. Her ability to change the world is there to be developed and encouraged at her core, just as it is in each and everyone else in the ways that they hold most personally true.
She goes to an incredible school where intelligence is revered. Where kids talk out of turn not about gossip and spite and fluff, but about homework and classes, friendships and futures. Where everyone is the same because they each are so awesomely different. Where bullying is at a minimum because this individuality is so much the norm. Where kids are nurtured as they figure out just who they are - where she is comfortable to delve into the depths of that question for herself. And she knows that absolutely any answer will be accepted - by her friends, by us - as long as she is true to herself and strives to always be as great and good as she can possibly be, to herself and others.
And now - she's scared. Her friends are scared. We are scared. Scared of a president-elect who is a racist, sexist, bigoted, prejudiced, homophobic, bully, sexual predator and liar. Someone who will seemingly work to destroy the rights of everyone whom we've taught her is worthy of respect, love and compassion. Including people she personally knows, loves, and respects. Including her friends. Including me. Including herself.
How can this be? Just - how?
I want to cry. I want to be sick. I want to disassociate myself from this country in any way that I possibly can.
But most of all, I want the next 4 years to not play out as terribly as I fear they may. I want my daughter to feel comfortable in the world in which she lives. I want her and her friends and everyone she holds in her heart to not hide in fear of how they live, what they believe, who they love, and what they look like. I want not only tolerance. Not only acceptance. I want love. I want peace. I do want a great America, and a great world. But absolutely not at the cost of everything our president-elect stands to destroy. No - these are the very qualities we need to strengthen and bolster, not rip away in hatred and disgust.
I, for one, am on a mission. A mission to keep in tact all that I love about my country. All that I want my daughter to believe about the place she lives and, indeed, about herself.
Day one starts again, and it starts with action. It starts with - continues with - love. It starts right here. Let's go.