A sheen of perspiration gathered at the backs of my knees. My forehead was clammy. I had changed clothes three times that morning. First, I extracted my mother's favorite circa 1965 purple cashmere sweater from a drawer and separated it from its protective tissue-paper shell.
I wanted to wear something of hers to the polls but didn't want to damage the sweater with my nerves and their tendency to make a mess of things.
Next, I tried on a white summer tunic and twill pants, a nod to Susan B. Anthony.
Too obvious. And the sleeves cut into me uncomfortably when I layered on a trench coat. I had spent long enough feeling uncomfortable.
Instead, I settled on a pair of bright red slacks and a dark gray sweatshirt in which I usually sleep. I draped two child-made necklaces around my neckline and pulled on a pair of boots. Fashionable ones that don't hurt when I walk in them.
It was a beautiful day. We'd take full advantage of it and walk, as a family, the half-mile to our polling place.
We had it all mapped out. It never occurred to me we'd get lost.
It started to fall apart before we even got out of the front door.
I could tell my oldest was sullen. She wore a frown that has become increasingly familiar. It is not entirely concealed by a curtain of hair and the edge of shirt collar, which she had pinched between her thumb and forefinger, and which she now holds in front of her chin where a scarf might be.
The girl, who is one month shy of officially residing in Teenager-land, was already gaining distance as she took off walking. Still, she told me exactly what she thought of the outing.
I was not only an embarrassment with my date-night clothes and chirpy demeanor as I announced history in the making. I was out of touch with the youth of today. And worse. I was a hypocrite.
"You think you know everything, but you don't. You're voting for Her just because she's a woman not because she's the best choice. You are the one who is sexist."
It wasn't true. I wasn't a lesser of two evils voter. But I didn't want to argue that point in the street. I wanted to pretend my daughter understood and shared my brand of feminism. But she didn't.
I caught up with her and told her to go home.
I wasn't mad. How could I be mad? I know she has no idea what it's like to be dealt five cards in a game of seven card stud. But I didn't want her hovering over me in this moment with her dark cloud either.
It was as if she could vote. She didn't need to be there, watching her parents fill in circles on a sheet of paper and feed it to a machine.
"If you are going to be angry at me, do it on your own. This election is important to us. If you don't approve, you are free to go."
But she didn't leave.
She stood silently next to her father. Looking no more or less grim than any other face in the room.
It was unsettling.
She apologized when we returned home. As did I. We didn't belabor the points, just moved on with the bullet points of the rest of our day.
But in the morning, she couldn't quite believe the news I had stayed up all night practicing to explain:
"We are disappointed. But it will okay. ...
We just need to breathe. Inhale kindness, exhale service."
She didn't need me to say that, of course. It is already her mantra.
"I'm not worried," she told me when she came home from school. "Even in my school, Clinton won the popular vote. The one Trump supporter in my class celebrated by making seven dozen cookies to hand out to everyone. We'll be OK. "
It's a start.
"I might have eaten the cookie, mom, but I won't drink the Kool-Aid."