You will tell them she didn't win. That there will not be a woman in the White House. Not yet.
You will tell them you are sad.
You will say, yes, I voted for her. I was proud and confident in her abilities. I cheered, and sometimes wept, at her speeches and videos on the Internet because it was everything to see a woman rise up. I made calls and knocked on doors because I knew she was the best person for this job. I wore a pantsuit. I called myself a Nasty Woman.
You will remind them that it is never OK to call someone nasty.
If they are old enough to understand, you will explain that it is also sexist to call a person nasty because really, nobody uses that word to describe men. It is a word, like bossy and bitchy, reserved for women.
You will say, it is not OK to treat women differently. Women are equal. And, one day, there will be a woman in the White House. Tonight is a reminder that there is real hard work to be done in the United States of America. Not only to close the gender gap. But to end racism. To end bigotry. To let people know that fear does not make it OK to hate.
You will tell them that you won't stop fighting for equality. You will call on them to join you in that fight however they can. By treating kids at school who are different with respect. By speaking up when they see someone being mistreated. By standing up for themselves if they are the victims.
You will remind them that if they are hurting you will be there for them.
And, you will laugh with your children. You will play and give them hugs. You will be normal and everyday because really, you are their world. They do not know how much this means. Remember, you are the one who is hurting right now.
Because no, there will not be a woman in the White House in 2017.
So, you will tell them that we will survive the next four years, as we have survived previous difficult four-year stretches of time. You will tell them that it is possible, more than possible, to move on from disappointment.
Then, you will get to work. Parenting. Loving. Living.