On Halloween I took my daughter to vote. While holding her in my arms with a snack, sippy cup, pacifier and a recent impulse-purchase pumpkin, I glanced at the voting monitor hoping to focus long enough to check the right box for president. At the top of the ballot was a female name typed in no-fanfare black and white, and it caught me off guard to realize a woman is in serious consideration to become president.
I should preface this and say I’ve never cared that Hillary is a woman and I’ve never minded that Trump is a man. I wouldn’t vote for someone based on gender, and I laughed off anyone who brought it up like I watched the SNL skits. It was briefly funny and interesting and then I’d go back to chasing around an exploring toddler.
So I went into the polling booth focused on my issue in hand, which was a little, active and babbling kiddo. I was motivated for speed.
With her arm just out of reach of accidental selections, I glanced at the screen.
And surprisingly, shockingly and confusingly, I saw a female name for the first time at the top of the ticket and it brought me out of my hurry. While my daughter carefully decided between apple and water, I began to realize the importance of shattering this glass ceiling.
I realized we are on the right track for gender equality to be even less of a concern for our kids as it was for us. I felt humbled, thankful that previous generations fought for and earned moments like this throughout history so that we can experience it now.
For a whole second it seemed obvious that the world was becoming a better place.
We voted for the best person to do the job, and then went back to juggling, snacking, shushing, and trying to check candidate boxes for like 7 pages of local elections.
We both got I Voted Early stickers, and the effect of that moment has stayed with me. I left the library thinking that the next time a woman’s name is in the same place on the ballot it won’t be a big deal. People will focus on more than her gender because that conversation and thought process are so 2016.