Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Winter :: Super Tuesday 2008 :: California Primary
H: Dad, who did you vote for?
J: Well, I don't have to tell anyone who I voted for, but did you have someone in particular you are hoping I voted for?
H: Ummm, yes, but I can't remember her name.
Spring :: Partisan Politics :: It comes down to one or the other
The kids and I are sitting at the table working on some project or another; NPR is on in the next room.
NPR: Blahblahblah Barack Obama blahblah.
j: Barack Obama. I like that name. (pause) What is Barack Obama?
N: Hannah, do you know who Barack Obama is?
H: He's a man who wants to be president.
j: But I thought only womans could be pregnant.
Summer :: Convention :: Brainwash with care
In a speech at the Democratic National Convention, the phrase "Barack Obama is right, John McCain is wrong" is repeated many, many times. Jonah latches onto this and fits it into just about any conversation--whether or not it has anything to do with the topic at hand. I limit our exposure to the Republicans' convention for fear of what he might pick up from it.
Fall :: The End Is Within Sight :: We try to focus on the issues
Scene 1: In the car, on the way home from Hannah's soccer practice.
H: Mom, how can you tell when a country wins a war?
N: ... Um, well...
j: When all the army guys in the bad country are dead, then the good guys win!
N: Oh, it's more complicated than that. Lots of people who aren't part of the fighting die in wars too. And sometimes, the leaders of the countries who are fighting talk to each other and find a way to stop fighting before everyone gets killed.
H: John McCain thinks we should keep fighting the war in Iraq, but Barack Obama thinks we should try to end the war.
j: Oh! So that's why they say Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong!
Scene 2: A table in Jonah's Kindergarten classroom where I am volunteering. M is the youngest son of a Mormon family at the school--his mom has a "Yes on 8" sticker on her Suburban; C is in fierce competition for the title of Class Busybody; K is another girl in the class.
C: M, you have a crush on K.
M: What's that?
N: Hey, C, we don't need to talk about things like that at school. You can save that for home. Let's focus on our work guys.
Pause while everyone gets back to their coloring.
j: Girls can marry girls you know.
C: Why would they want to do that?!?
j: Because they love each other very much.
C: Oh. But they can't have babies.
N: Well, they can adopt babies and be a family.
Election Day :: We vote :: It's the start of something new
I love taking my children to vote with me, especially as they are becoming more politically aware. Four years ago, I held Jonah (wasn't he the most adorable little thing?) while I voted and Hannah stood next to John; afterwards, they picked up leaves from the huge tree right outside our polling place. This year Jonah sat at my feet reading his Lego catalog and Hannah stood right at my left elbow, reading along, making sure I voted for Barack Obama; afterwards, they picked up leaves from the huge tree right outside our polling place.
In the evening, we printed out maps and colored them as the returns came in; we listened to coverage on the radio then switched to the television to watch Obama's speech; my brother-in-law, teering up, told Jonah "Oh, you have such an exciting life ahead of you".