On the morning after the election, many Clinton-supporting parents woke to a barrage of questions and worries from their kids about what the election of Donald Trump means for the country.
Lisa Levine had seen enough. So at about 10:30 Tuesday night, she went to bed, knowing she would wake up with a president-elect who was not her choice.
Her son, Jake Rehfeldt, 18, stayed up for a couple more hours. This was the first election the Ballard High School senior had participated in. The first time he had cast a vote for president. And it wasn’t for Donald Trump.
But he watched Trump’s victory speech. And the next morning, his mother let him — and his 16-year-old sister, Lily — stay home from school to watch Hillary Clinton concede.
“Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams,” she told her crowd of supporters.
“It was closure,” Levine said, “because Hillary said, ‘A peaceful transition is the cornerstone of our democracy.’ And despite all this, that’s where we live — in a democracy.”
“Despite all this.” It’s a phrase Clinton supporters have been using a lot for the last 48 hours — especially parents, who woke up Wednesday with heavy hearts and a barrage of questions and worries from their kids about what the election of Donald Trump means.
He had said so many things during the campaign. About women. About the Supreme Court. About minorities. About immigrants.
Lily Rehfeldt has friends from other countries.
“She was in tears,” said Levine, 53, a life and health coach. “She was asking, ‘Are my friends going to have to leave?’ ”
Christine Stepherson’s 11-year-old daughter, Eva, went to school at Tops K-8 on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in a pantsuit jacket and a T-shirt that said, “A Woman’s Place is in The White House.”
It wasn’t this time.
And so the morning began with questions: Did Gov. Jay Inslee win? Would Hillary Clinton be part of Donald Trump’s cabinet? Is Michelle Obama going to be the next woman to run for president?
Probably not, Stepherson told her.
“But you don’t have to be president to do amazing things,” she said.
With that, Eva started collecting her stuff for school.
“Knowledge is power, Mommy,” she said.
On the way to school, Stepherson’s 14-year-old son, Dylan (“The deejay”) put on “One Man Can Change the World,” by Big Sean.
“One woman!” Eva said from the back seat.
“One human,” said Stepherson, the owner of Team Soapbox, an issue-advocacy communications firm.
Across town, on the way to Ballard High, Jake Rehfeldt popped in Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.”
When she got home, Levine made a list of 10 things she’s grateful for and posted it on Facebook. (“2. I am grateful that my kids will spend the majority of the next 4 years on a college campus — one of the best places to be in times like these.”)
“I ultimately believe in our resiliency,” she said. “And that is what I told my children. That we are going to be OK.”
On Thursday night, Stepherson, 49, will serve as one of the hosts of a “Nasty Women Party” that was planned before the election.
There’s no plan to cancel it. In fact, one organizer and her children responded to Trump’s election by making donations to Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign.
“This isn’t the time to sit home and lick your wounds,” Stepherson said. “Lots of people are going to need us.
“Today we can be sad, but tomorrow, we’re going to kick some ass.”
And with our children watching — and learning — from our example.