The other night, Dan came home from an evening of campaign events with soaking wet shoes. He and one of his wonderful field organizers, Ethan, had pulled their car out of a parking lot flooded by a foot and a half of rain. They then proceeded to save the other people parked in the lot from ruining their shoes by getting their keys and pulling their cars out of the morass. That's the guy I married.
Dan told me this story (insisting that Ethan was the real hero) as he stood with wet hair in our kitchen and washed bottles from his earlier feedings of our two little people, before getting on his laptop to respond to campaign emails. I smiled. I wanted to snap a photo and post, "When he's done campaigning for the day, he comes home to do this... wash bottles and change diapers!" Yep, that's the guy I married.
It'll come as no surprise that this campaign has involved big sacrifices for our family. When Dan first floated the idea of running for office in this election cycle, I was far from thrilled. While I have long supported the prospect of his giving his immense gifts in public service, I was adamant that this was bad timing for our family. We already knew we were expecting two babies and everybody with any experience, from our doctor to scarymommy.com, said that a twin pregnancy and the first year with twins are incredibly difficult. "Survival mode" is how they described it. And it's totally true!
The way Dan proceeded with his proposal was by committing to win my vote both in public and private: he undertook to fight for public causes we both care about without compromising the character of the man I fell in love with, and to honour the huge personal step we had just taken of growing our family. He set himself a high bar and he has remained true to his word.
Nonetheless, his attempt to balance the obligation he feels to make the world a better place with his responsibilities to me and our babies has involved a lot of give and take on both our parts. For instance, the day of the rainstorm he cut "Daddy Day" (the one day of the week when I am mostly free of childcare responsibility) short in order to attend political events. But, as the very existence of Daddy Day and the end of that rainy day prove, the observation I have heard made by a few others is correct: Dan is certainly the hardest working candidate I have seen in action.
We joke that we actually had triplets! Like a third child, this campaign has not just cost us financially but, more importantly, it has engaged us in deeply personal ways. In a very real sense, it has been an extension of our family and of our very selves. Insofar as Dan is an incredibly loving husband and father, he has demonstrated in public his long-held belief that (in the words of Cornel West) "justice is what love looks like in public". When he advocates for families, he does so starting from a lived commitment to honouring our family. Advocating for women's equality, he does so from valuing me as his equal. His stand for teamwork and community is first borne out in the great team of staff and supporters like you that he's built to help us care for our third child when the first two (and their mommy) can't do without their daddy. The list goes on. And it is why I am proud to vote for Dan to be my Executive Councilor.
In a presidential election cycle in which we have seen the very opposite of good character displayed at the highest level, Dan is the antithesis of that. I am hoping and praying - indeed, trusting - that on Tuesday the good people of District 5 will take a stand for decency and "what love looks like in public" by joining me in electing my comprehensively loving husband, Dan.
With sincere thanks,
November 3, 2016