By Tim Sullivan

At 1:30 a.m. on election night I told Kristen we better get to bed. As upset as we were with the outcome, we needed to wake up in the morning, be parents and go to work. We wondered what we would say to the kids. Of course the next day there were many articles online covering that very topic, but I couldn’t even stomach them.

Over breakfast that Wednesday morning, I was laboring through an “everything is going to be ok” talk with the kids when the lights went out. Not figuratively, literally. The power went out in our neighborhood. It seemed ominous and I think #ThanksTrump was officially birthed in Oakhurst. It turned out to just be a transformer that the Russians blew up in celebration of the election results though so, phew.

Shortly before the election I drafted a farcical yarn about how as a member of the “crooked media,” I was part of a cabal that rigged the election. It was me, Oprah, Larry King and Wolf Blitzer. There were nuggets about Oprah buying votes with new cars and Larry selling me on fish oil supplements when he wasn’t stuffing the ballot box with deceased voter’s ballots. Wolf was, among other things, an awfully competitive badminton player. It was hysterical. Trust me.

I’m aware that our readers don’t look to the Timmydaddy column for political insight and this is not a venture to change anyone’s mind. But while the first amendment is fully intact…here’s a point of view to say that the hurt is real and raw and if your best response is “stop whining” I will think less of you. It’s a feeling of vulnerability, not just for ourselves but for so many friends as well, particularly those in minority groups, that in the coming years we will be shielding our kids from something awful. It may be another recession, war, or an erosion of 50 years of civil and social progress. I hope I’m wrong. I do root for our president -elect to be successful although I’m certain we disagree over what success would look like.

We’re all digging a little deeper. We’re doing our best to learn, to organize and to find opportunities for kindness and charity. Elliott just couldn’t fathom how anyone could have voted for Trump. Margo shrugged it off in a way to remind me that she’s 7 and she shouldn’t worry about these things. She’s right. Sometimes when one of the kids get hurt, a skinned knee or elbow, I’ll tell them to squeeze my hand and give the pain to me – I’ll absorb it for them because I’m bigger and stronger. My main takeaway from the election is that Kristen and I, and millions of parents just absorbed a whole lot of worry.

Tim Sullivan grew up in a large family in the Northeast and now lives with his small family in Oakhurst. He can be reached at tim@sullivanfinerugs.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.