On historic elections and history
I may be insane. I plan to take the darelings with me today to the polls.
I don’t have a sitter, for one. And for another, I just like taking them there, to see what this whole democracy thing is all about. Plus, they get stickers!
My eldest and I have been having lots of adorable conversations over the past month or so about just what it is a president does (hard to explain, when she still can’t quite grasp the distinctions of city/state/country) and what voting is all about. I can tell it distresses her shiny new sense of fairness that only one of the two candidates can win. When I told her that the grownups will all be going to vote so they can choose the new president, she said, “I don’t want to grow up. I don’t think I could choose. Can’t they share?”
I’ve also been hearing from my mom–who, for the first time in my memory anyway, has been actively campaigning on behalf of her candidate, calling voters, standing out for hours in crummy weather to hear him speak. I think it’s awesome.
I write historical romances because I find that long-ago, far-away time to be swooningly romantic. But today, I could not be more happy to be a modern woman. I’m so glad that this is the very first election my daughter is aware of. I can discuss the four main candidates with her, and she can look at that group of people and see herself someday fitting among them–because they include both a female candidate and a biracial candidate. When she says “When I grow up, maybe I can be president,” I can say unequivocally, “Of course you can!” and the media images she takes in will actually back me up! (Of course, most days careers like “teacher”, “doctor”, and “restaurant girl” seem to hold more appeal for her, but we encourage her to keep her options open.)
I’m also grateful to have my children around me, because explaining all this to them makes me even more conscious of the responsibility of voting, the wonderful thing that is democracy. And some masochistic part of me wants to make my children stand in a big long line to witness it, because they should know that it’s something worth waiting in line for–even moreso than their favorite rides at Disneyland.
So if you see some frazzled woman at the polls today with her two noisy children in tow, cut her some slack and pass the stickers. She might be me!
Did you vote! How were the lines? Did you hear Starbucks is giving out free coffee to voters? I’m going to need it! I thought I heard a rumor about Ben&Jerry’s giving out ice cream, too. Any more freebies?