I can’t recall ever going into a polling place with my mom or asking anything even remotely related to politics really until I was in middle school and the Clinton Scandal surfaced. However, times have changed in the past two decades and now the discussion of politics is everywhere, ESPECIALLY in my house! With a little brother that has his heart set on a seat in congress by the age of 25, Elizabeth hears more than her fair share of the political battles raging in our household.
Despite hearing all the discussions and different opinions as to what candidate our family is voting for during an election year, Elizabeth apparently hadn’t quite grasped the idea of voting or even mastered saying the word ‘vote’. On Tuesday November 2nd, 2010, I had a million things to do and in the midst of all of them, I had to stop for 10 minutes and fulfill my patriotic duty and attempt to elect the lesser of two evils within each government position AND vote yes or no on propositions that no matter what my decision was, will (I’m sure!) inevitably screw both my feet into the floor, figuratively speaking I hope. That morning, I woke up, prepared myself for the day that lie ahead. I then woke my children up, dressed them, loaded them in the car and headed out. Dropped Elizabeth off at a friends and went on to a meeting with my business consultant. After finishing my meeting, I went and picked Elizabeth up. Her usual question popped out of that sweet little mouth seconds after getting into her carseat “Where are we going next mommy?!” I replied, “Mommy needs to go vote”. Her response was so innocent and yet entirely ironic with the current political system we have in place that I struggled through the laughter and tears to answer her question “Boat? Are there crocodiles in that pond?”
Sweet innocent Elizabeth, you have NO idea how many crocodiles are in THAT pond and how vicious those crocs can be! (Taken from a very wise grandma!)
After I regained composure I initiated a vocabulary lesson in which we clarified the letter ‘v’ and the letter ‘b’. Fortunately, the conversation didn’t end there. Elizabeth asked me, “Mommy, why do you vote?”. In the most simplified manner I could come up with (which happened to also correlate with a very BIG issue in this years campaigns) I responded, “Mommy doesn’t like it when somebody else tells her how to live her life, so I need to make sure they know that, and the way I let them know is by voting”.
Apparently, that answer encompassed everything a three year old needed to know about the political process because her very next response was “Oh, okay!” If only life really were that simple 😀