A funny thing, hope …

There’s this thing about having kids — particularly daughters, I’d argue — that nobody tells you. You become soft.

I should have seen it coming, I suppose. My father-in-law as long as I’ve known him has been referred to as a “mellow old man.” In my early years of parenthood I can clearly remember finding myself less detached from the local horrific stories that would cross our news desk, and if possible avoiding having to read the national tragedies. It was all too real. I couldn’t separate myself any more.

But the one thing I think I’ve really gained is a sense of hope. Maybe that’s just a part of growing older — though I think as we’ve seen in the current electorate that’s not always the case. But I like to think it’s because I’ve got kids, and I want things to be OK for them. I want them to not be scared.

And so on this dark, dark day … I have hope.

I have hope that the boorish “man” who was just elected our 45th president — the panderer, the showman — will in fact show a little bit of the discipline and restraint he showed in the final days leading up to the election. And can do so without literally being tied down.

I have hope that the pathological liar — this is not up for debate—will somehow take a different tact and learn that you shouldn’t tell people what they want to hear all the time.

I have hope that all the women who have accused this “man” of sexual assault will find peace, if not justice.

I have hope that the “grab them by the pussy” — that “man”—no longer exists and has been replaced by someone who has some small chance of being someone else.

I have hope that my gay friends who regained so much of the humanity they deserve the past years won’t see it stripped away. And that the rest of us won’t let it be.

I have hope that the threats against immigrants and their families, against people of color, die off with the generations reared with such racism in the first place. And that the rest of us help push those kinds of thoughts where they belong.

I have hope that the 22 million people who gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act won’t be stripped of it on principle. I have hope that costs can come down. And that we won’t abandon the sick just because it’s politically advantageous.

I have hope that television “news” will wake up and stop being 24 hours of banal entertainment. And that the folks watching will demand it.

I have hope that we’ll see fewer “Trump says” headlines printed without consideration as to whether the musings of an unhinged TV personality should be handled as mere stenography.

I have hope that we’ll see someone other than another white man in the White House. That’ll we’ll indeed have a woman serve.

I have hope that we’ll get someone with half of the experience of Hillary Clinton. And maybe with half the baggage, yes, but also with twice the fair scrutiny not afforded this candidate.

I have hope that we’ll make it easier for people to vote. Not harder. And that we’ll replace anyone who fights against that.

I have hope that I won’t have to explain to my grandchildren why we couldn’t be bothered to treat our planet better.

I have hope that the electorate will be able to focus for more than a week at a time. That we’ll be able to take the long view like the adults that we’re supposed to be.

I have hope that over the next four years we won’t forget what just happened. That I won’t have to explain to my daughters how we got to where we might well be. And that everyone who voted for Trump won’t be forced to reconcile feeling better about themselves versus doing what’s right for everyone.

I have hope that when my daughters wake in an hour or so I’ll tell them that everything will be OK. That I won’t let anything happen to them.

Hope isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to look deep for it.

But sometimes hope for your children is all you have.