Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What I want my kids to remember

I'll never forget last night. Not just for the historic decisions that were made which will impact my children's lives for years to come, but for the night itself, and how we spent it as a family.

During the afternoon, I pulled out the flag and hung it on the pole outside. I pulled out the July 4th decorations and mini-flags and decorated our family room. I set the stage and set up my laptop so we could watch msnbc together.

Our family has talked about this election for months, every candidate, every proposition, and the crucial local city proposition that would provide bond funds for our small school district.

We've had differences of opinion, and lots of misinformation from their friends at school to clarify. My children are children, and so much of the political scene seems remote to them. But they tried to understand, and listened to everything we tried to explain to them.

Drama Girl is 12, and her attention doesn't go much beyond her own navel, but she was the one who sat with me early in the afternoon here in California and started following the results avidly. As I took trips around town to drop the twins at various lessons, she kept me informed on the progress of the votes. We're having a tough time communicating at times these days, but we shared the excitement of the moment every step of the way.

And then we ordered our requisite pizza and the whole family gathered close to watch the final results. When the moment came, we were together, watching the world, part of the world.

They're tired of hearing me tell them that they are witness to history. Maybe what they don't realize is that it's not just America's history they are witnessing, it is their personal history as well.

8 people stopped folding laundry to write:

compulsivereader said...

I'm so impressed that your children are involved in politics early. That way they'll understand the importance when they're older and can vote! Great family activity!! I was up until after midnight to hear Obama's acceptance speech, I can't miss history in the making!!! ;-)

Cheryl Lage said...

ThreeUnder, I LOVE this post...my kids were so excited this morning. :) Glad to hear you were having a similar time with your kids on the opposite coast. We did make ours go to bed, (they're younger), but they bounced out of bed this morning SOOO wanting to hear the "final" and watched the Grant Park footage this morning.

It is history, and while my stand on the issues is varied from Obama's I am VERY proud of our country's progress and am CONFIDENT he loves our country as passionately as I do, and will do his utmost for our continued path into the future.

It IS a happy day...and how nice to be able to genuinely feel celebratory joy when "my candidate" did not win!

Des said...

It was a pretty amazing day, wasn't it? I found myself tearing up several times. We, too, joined in the process with our children. My son is 18 and he voted for the first time yesterday. He remarked how surreal it was to open up the ballot and see "JOHN MCCAIN and then BARAK OBAMA" and he was making a choice. Yeah, I cried again. So grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

Beth said...

What a great way to spend time together as a family. This was a great election to use as a learning tool!

kids taxi driver said...

My kids have been very involved in elections for the last several years and even walked for candidates a couple of years ago. They were interested and followed this election very close and wanted to be informed of all the propositions that were on our local ballot. We were at my 10 year olds practice and I was watching the returns on my phone and she kept getting updates on her water breaks. We were together as a family watching as the announcements were made and they were very excited. We watched Senator McCains speech and they were all upset that people were booing but yet when President Elect Obama spoke, the crowd cheered for McCain.

Laura said...

I very much admire and applaud the families who created an election day celebration.
I hope that this will always be so.

Anne said...

It was so nice to see people getting involved during this election. I hope it continues. I'm nervous & excited to see how the next 4 years turn out!

Fantastic Forrest said...

I liked your post. Good for you, sharing this important event with your family.

My Amazing Son and Amazing Daughter have been involved since they were in diapers. We've gone to rallies for our candidates and walked door to door to drop off campaign literature.

They stayed home the morning of the inauguration to watch it on TV. When I called their schools to let them know that the kids would come in late, the woman seemed shocked that they were staying home for that. I figured they'd earned it. And after all, they HAD gone to school 4 years previously. ;-)

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