That’s what I shouted when I came home from voting this morning. I know, kinda queer, but I was feeling the love.
I went alone to the polls, early, following the pair of parent conferences I had before school started. In the past, I’ve wheeled strollers along, but found it to be a little annoying. I want all of my brain to be focused on the task at hand, and wrangling a herd of children is a little distracting.
When I got to the high school gym, though, I sort of wished I had some of the kids with me. Maybe Mitzi and Cooper, who are now old enough to really appreciate the concept of elections. For the past few weeks they’ve been mentioning the candidates’ names or repeating sound bites and slogans for both campaigns.
I find this funny because, while Ray and I are both interested in politics and government, we don’t spend a whole lot of time discussing issues or watching television. It’s interesting to find out that even the brief exposure has stayed with the kids so strongly.
I don’t remember hearing a lot from my own parents. I knew they voted but for whom remained a mystery. I did get a healthy dollop of cynicism from my mom whose naivete about politicians died a little with John Kennedy, and later, more strongly with Richard Nixon’s resignation. I learned to be supportive of the process but skeptical of the partipants.
Ray, on the other hand, is a believer. That is, he believes that it’s possible to someday have a politician worth believing in, and continues to search. He knows much more than I about history, government, and politics, and is eager to share his enthusiasm with the kids.
So maybe we are giving them a balanced perspective. Hope and questioning; doubt with faith. Whatever they learn from us, I know we are showing them that they have a responsibility to participate. As citizens, they matter. As Americans, they’re lucky to have the chance to be cautious optimists, and lucky they can vote.