So, the election is over.
Don't worry, this is not a political post. Don't run screaming for the hills just yet!
The interesting thing about this election is that we have a kid old enough to get that something is happening. She hears the commercials and the news reports, her friends talk about things, and they were studying elections in school. Very simple stuff.
She comes home from school one day, all bubbly and talkative as usual, her mouth running a mile a minute.
"Hey, Mom? Who are you voting for?"
Simple question. Not really a simple answer.
You see, my thoughts and opinions have changed over the last few years, especially now that I'm a mom. I worry more about issues that never crossed my mind ten years a go. I see more in gray, not just black and white.
Pretty much that means I hadn't decided yet. Which was not a good enough answer for my inquisitive seven year old.
"Well, you see, there are more than two candidates..."
"But, MOM. What if you HAD to pick one of the two?"
There's no explaining to her that there are more than two parties, that you can vote whichever way you please.
And again, I had no answer.
My bright idea?
"Hey, let's ask Daddy when he gets home from work!"
SCORE. Conversation tabled for later.
The crazy thing about this kid is that she never forgets anything. EVER. I promised her a trip to California when she was two years old. She still asks when we're going, because, you know, I promised.
I guess I better start planning that trip.
So there was no chance that she'd forget our conversation.
Sure enough, as soon as Daddy walked in the door, and before he had a chance to take his coat off, she's all over him.
"Hey, Dad! Who are you voting for in the election?"
Dad was in the same boat as Mom.
He was honest with her. "I still have some research to do."
With that big bright smile, she exclaims, "I can help! I know ALL about the candidates!"
We chuckle. Then I think, wait, how does she know? She really IS smarter than me.
Well, what the heck, right? If she could just tell us, then I wouldn't have to do the work myself. Bonus!
"Ok, tell us about them!"
"Mitt Romney likes meatloaf! And President Obama likes chili!"
YES. There you have it. All you need to know!
I should have posted this pre-election, it may have helped all the other undecided voters make their choice!
She also knew their wives names, how many kids they had, and their favorite color.
You know, all the really important, juicy stuff!
I thought we were about to have this deep conversation with our kid about the state of the world, what we believed, how she could formulate her own opinion. I forget sometimes that her version of the world is still innocent.
I know that deep conversation will come one day, along with several other deep, scary conversations. It's not that far off. I'm anxious about those talks. I want to make sure I tell her the important things she needs to know. I want to be sure I foster in her the ability to formulate her own opinion.
Raising a person is scary stuff.
In the meantime, I embrace the innocence. I love on her and hope that she will gain the confidence she needs to go forth in the world and do good.
That's all you can hope for.
That, and some seriously good meatloaf.