Portrait of a White, Suburban Ohio, College-Educated Woman on Election Day 2016
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
I wake up at 6:00 a.m.
I roll from my side to my back, feeling the weight of 29 weeks of pregnancy.
I put on some maternity leggings, several layers, and the ever-so-sexy pregnancy belt.
Carrying 27 pounds of extra weight, I walk and jog in the cool darkness, the road lit by the occasional lamp post. I watch my heart rate rise and fall.
I count the political signs.
I run on.
At 6:45, I return home and wake up my husband.
Our three-year-old daughter, still asleep in her bed.
I make her lunch and set out her vitamins.
I eat a bowl of oatmeal, topped with raspberries.
Take a breath.
Climb the stairs to coax the kid out of bed.
She is pissed.
Her voice is hoarse, so I know she’s getting sick.
Through screaming and tears and some negotiation, we get her dressed and vitamin-ed.
Then off to daycare.
In the car, she asks for music. I played her favorite, Grouplove’s Tongue Tied.
Then, she bursts into tears.
Yeah, she’s feeling pretty miserable, I think.
I set out her breakfast once we are in her preschool room. Today, she insists that she does not want milk on her cereal.
She gives me a hug. And a kiss.
Across from daycare, the church is a polling place. There is extra traffic. Turning left without a stop sign or stoplight is a nightmare.
Back at home, I make a second breakfast. Because pregnancy.
Eggs and English muffin. And coffee. Because second pregnancy.
I listen to NPR’s Morning Edition.
Shower. Dress for work. Make-up.
My husband is running behind.
So we decide to vote together.
We have a nice conversation in line for 30 minutes. We talk about last night’s dinner with friends. Our daughter. Our church. His work’s potluck.
Then, we vote.
Because we are Americans.
Because we are parents.
Because we are feminists.
Because time moves forward. Not backward.
We hold hands on the way out. Give each other a quick kiss and hug.
We go to work.