K went into her first voting booth at six weeks old. She endures, mostly without complaint, how I squeeze her a little tighter when a particularly cringe-worthy political sound bite hits our ears -- or whenever we're in a waiting room where the television is tuned to Fox News. (I want to believe that if I hold her tight enough, we'll form some sort of a magic barrier between her and whatever hateful/fearful/xenophobic/etc propaganda is being spewed at her from the speakers. That's how it works, right?) She stood by patiently as her phone-phobic mother worked up the guts to actually call her representatives when
She's coming with me to vote, whether she's being a crankpants or not. I know that at 25 months old it's really, really unlikely that she'll remember this at all -- and of course she won't remember the first time she "voted," but I feel that it's important to have her with me, and to be able to tell her later that she was there. I remember the thrill of going into the voting booth with my parents when I was little. They took my sister and me every year and we each got to pick a parent to accompany behind the curtain. When we were little-little we didn't know what we were really voting for (beyond the basics -- they'd explain that pulling the lever here meant we were voting to give money to our school, or the zoo, or whatever -- ballot initiatives that kindergartners can kind of grasp) but I knew from the beginning that what we were doing was special, and important, and -- hey, you get a sticker at the end!
I want K to grow up in a house where being an (at least semi-) involved participant in the political process is the norm. I don't want her to take anything for granted. I want her to know how things work, and why. We'll probably save the 19th amendment lesson for next year (with a feminist mom and a historian dad, she's going to get lessons, oh yes!) but we've got to start somewhere.
Anyway, sleeping K: rest up. Tomorrow is a big day.