“Can I vote?” Zoe asked at the supper table Monday night.
“Not yet. But you can come with me,” I said, sorry to crush her democratic dreams.
Luckily, she wasn’t crushed. Clearly, she knows the drill, because her next question was:
“Can I have your sticker?”
I said yes. And when Leo asked if he could come, too, of course I said yes again.
In the morning, our conversation went like this:
Me: “Okay, time to go vote!”
Me: “No, vvvvvvote.”
Leo: “Boat? Why?”
Me: “Because we live in a democracy.”
The purpose of our expedition thus clarified, we headed over to the armory. And even though my children are of course not old enough to vote, and one of them persisted in looking for the elusive boat the whole time we were there, I herded them into the voting booth with me. They bumped into each other; they stepped on my feet; they each asked for and received an “I Voted!” sticker. Five minutes later we were on our way.
Voting is important. (Pro Tip: Obviously.) I vote with my children because I want them to know that. I want to share this experience with them. I want them to participate in something that is bigger than themselves, bigger than our family, bigger than our town, but that is also connected to all of those things.
When we got to day care later in the morning, Zoe proudly announced to everyone, “Mom and Leo and I voted!” As for Leo, he stopped asking about the boat and cast his vote for something really important: the flavor of his breakfast pop tart.
Democracy in action, my friends. Color me proud.
What’s your favorite kind of pop tart? (Didn’t see that one coming, did you?)