What It Was Like to Be There as Hillary Clinton Made History -- & Share the Moment With My Daughter

Hillary Clinton DNC

On Thursday night I stood in Philadephia's Wells Fargo Center, along with thousands and thousands of other people, and watched as Hillary Clinton took the stage and made history. And thanks to modern technology, I was able to share that moment with my daughter. It's an experience I'm still struggling to put into words -- and it's one I'll never forget.

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Covering the DNC on behalf of CafeMom was a thrilling assignment, professionally speaking -- but it was profoundly inspiring on a personal level. All week, I met and spoke with everyday, regular women who were there in Philadelphia to take action, to make change, to participate.

(That's me, second from the left. My CafeMom colleague Caroline Olney is next to me.)

And all week, I listened as men and women alike took the stage to speak of ideals and ideas that I hold dear to my heart. I heard words and phrases spoken over and over in that auditorium that filled me with optimism and hope for the future we are all creating for our children, day by day:

LGBTQ rights. Roe v. Wade. Black Lives Matter. Equal pay. Affordable childcare. Education. Diversity. Respect. Together.

Love.

Yes, you read that right -- and I heard it every day of the convention:

LOVE.

More from CafeMom: Women Took Center Stage at the DNC -- & Proved That Moms Run the World

And I knew that when Hillary took the stage and became the first woman in our nation's history to become a major party's nominated candidate for president of the United States of America, I wanted to share that piece of history with my 13-year-old daughter, Isabella.

Any fellow mom will understand me when I say that, while I relished the opportunity to cover the convention, it was hard to be away from Isabella for those four days. No, she's not a baby anymore -- she doesn't need me as much as she used to. But she still needs me, and she still misses me, and all week I got texts and calls from her that showed me she felt my absence. I felt that all-too-familiar tug of mommy guilt. But I also knew that it was good for both of us for me to be there -- I know that every time I leave her for an adventure or experience on my own, it's teaching her something about how to be a woman, and a mother, in this world.

On Thursday evening, as I sat in the crowded auditorium, exhausted and exhilarated from whole experience, I texted Isabella to be on the lookout for my FaceTime call later that night. She was at a sleepover with four of her best friends -- they had the convention on the TV, and as I sat there high up in the press seating area, I imagined her looking for my face when the cameras turned to the crowd. Her mom was there!

More from CafeMom: Hillary Clinton Gave Young Women 10 Reasons to Vote for Her as History Is Made

The girls, of course, loved Katy Perry. (So did I, and so did the stadium.) And then Chelsea Clinton arrived to introduce her mother. I know that Chelsea received mixed reviews, but I found her to be both poised and heartfelt. I think Hillary agreed.

So proud.

A photo posted by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

And so did my own little girl.

And then, finally, Hillary.

I FaceTimed Isabella, and together we shared in the historic, thrilling, triumphant moment. When Isabella's great, great grandmothers were born, they did not have the right to vote in this county -- and that was just one of many, many rights and privileges they did not have, as women. And now, here we were, finally -- FINALLY -- bearing witness together to a living, breathing symbol of the incredible progress our grandmothers and mothers have made.

Facetiming with Isabella so we can be together as @hillaryclinton makes history. #demsinphilly

A photo posted by April Hussar (@aprilhussar) on

I heard the girls cheering. I flipped the camera so I could watch Isabella watch Hillary, and my heart felt full, elated, honored.

We disconnected after a few minutes -- Isabella took her attention back into the room with her friends and the woman in white on the TV screen, and I stood there in that crazily packed auditorium, and I cheered, and I cried.

Isabella watched Hillary Clinton make history

Watching Hillary speak, what struck me profoundly were her words about her own mother, and her mother's mother. I thought of my own line of mothers and daughters, stretching back through time. My mom, who raised me on her own, a struggling single parent who paid for necessities with food stamps in my early years, but who always made me -- and later, my sister -- feel loved and cared for and safe.

And her mother before her, an English rose who fell in love with a dashing American soldier during WWII, and raised four children all over the globe as she moved every year to follow her army husband from assignment to assignment, long after the war ended. How much work that must have taken, and how hard it must have been, to leave everything she'd ever known, never staying anywhere long enough to grow new roots. And her mother -- my great grandmother -- growing up in a factory town in England, surviving two world wars and the Great Depression, only to see both her daughters set off to America, leaving her behind to start their lives.

And who was her mother? Another unsung woman, never celebrated by history, but connected to me and to my daughter all the same by a powerful, unbroken bond.

"Women's work" has traditionally been a scornful term. But with the speakers they chose, with the voices given a platform, what this convention illustrated and celebrated, over and over, is the value, the necessity, and the honor of women's work.

Now, my girl and I have been a tiny, invisible part of this moment in history.

More from CafeMom: 17 Times We Were Proud to Be Women During Hillary Clinton's DNC Convention

It's a privilege and and experience I won't take lightly. If I carry with me only one thing from my experience at the DNC, it's this: Forward movement and change takes time, and it takes toil. It takes great leaders, yes, but most of all, it takes the effort and the dedication of regular people -- people willing to speak out, to take action, to work together. It takes a village, in so many ways.

As Hillary accepted her nomination, she told us that her mother "made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith: 'Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.'"

 

I heard you, Hillary. And I made sure my daughter did, too.

 

 

Image via Splash News

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