Now you just listen to me.
I am your mother and I am telling you there is no need to cry. I have dried your tears for seventeen years and I’m not about to stop now.
Yes, I know you saw me shaking and weeping on the sofa this morning, but that was because I’d been up all night drinking wine and coffee and smoking fags and forgetting to drink water. (Remember to always do as I say, not as I do, yes?)
I will admit that the experience of witnessing the potential destruction of your future from the comfort of our sofa was unsettling.
When you came in to say goodnight and demand that I immediately transfer the twenty quid I owed you into your bank account, things were looking good for Hillary.
I was having quite a nice time eating peanuts and exchanging jittery messages on facebook. Your brother had gone to sleep earlier than usual which made Dad and I experience that very rare feeling of being Very Good Parents and I was more concerned about BBC presenter Andrew O’Neil’s hair than the predictable trickle of pro-Hillary results (he’d had his roots done in a rather distractingly severe deep-auburn hue, I mention this in the interests of gender-balanced reporting as rarely does a fella get called-out for his hair on telly).
By 2.30am the trickle had slowed to a drip and I was snoozing on the sofa.
At 4.30am our lunatic cat tore into the room and leapt up on the shelf, upending picture frames and sending the lamp crashing to the floor and me into a near cardiac arrest of shock.
The screen was telling a different story to the one I’d closed my eyes to.
Good Morning Florida.
Trump had taken the sunshine state.
I went upstairs to your Dad. He told me to wake him if Trump won. Into the dark I said, “He’s doing it. He’s taken Florida. They’re saying it’s in the bag.” And your Dad exhaled eighteen months of hope into his pillow.
At Trump HQ, the crowd were all grinning. A conspicuously-placed tall trans guy was holding a sign above his head that read ‘Women for Trump’, his elaborately painted face an incongruous mannequin in a sea of red hicksville-style caps imploring to ‘Make America Great Again’.
At Clinton HQ, the crowd were sent home in tears.
When you thundered down the stairs at 7am, I’d somehow briefly fallen asleep again. Your repeated “I can’t believe it I can’t believe it” ripped me back into this new reality TV show where its star is a man who believes it’s dangerous to have you in the workplace, disgusting to have you breastfeed your child and criminal to have an abortion.
We watch his acceptance speech which he delivers like he’s won an Oscar. Which he has. Best Actor for his role impersonating a human. And you’re a drama student, and I was a drama student and both of us agree that his performance throughout the campaign has been powerful.
While the Clintons and the Obamas made the Trumpers feel like in-bred morons, Trump was up there making them feel like freedom fighters. I explain this to you while you eat your cornflakes and I make your brother’s packed lunch. I put a couple of sweets in there because today requires sugar and I send you off to college with a shrill “it’ll be ok babe!”
It’ll be ok babe.
Because while he’s building walls and deporting immigrants and banning Muslims and setting up CCTV outside every mosque and making friends with Putin and torturing terrorist suspects and “bombing the shit” out of Syria, YOU will be growing up.
You will be coming of age in a world that needs you more than ever. A world that needn’t be feared and can be understood, if you learn to ask the right questions.
Trump cannot stop you. Brexit cannot stop you. Nobody and nothing can stop you from becoming the woman you want to be and changing the world into one you can live with.
You must educate yourself and communicate your lessons. You must fight and listen and reform.
I know your generation can do it.
So dry your eyes, my girl. There’s much work to be done.
You can start by emptying the dishwasher and putting the bins out as soon as you get home…
Love, Mum xxx