Should I be elated that Boy-child sent me an amazing greeting from Chicago tonight? Am I happy that he was at a third party candidate debate? What am I to think that he has appeared on Fox News?
I am delighted.
Here's a little history.
I've always tried to allow my kids to think for themselves. It's hard. And kind of scary sometimes. Election years are always interesting in our family, because we don't agree on everything.
Back in 2000, in the wake of the presidential election debacle, I told my kids that every vote counts. They were young, but I was cognizant of the fact that young people don't always vote, and that they are often apathetic; I wanted my children to buck that trend. I think voting is kind of like reading - if you get them to start early, they'll be hooked.
Back in 2004, Boy-child went with me to the DFL caucus to observe, even though he was only 12 years old. He had opinions, but I asked him to be quiet or we'd be there all night. He was an observer, I told him.
Back in 2008 there was a week in February when I took Boy-child to listen to Ron Paul speak (Boy has strong Libertarian leanings) and I took Girl-child to the DFL caucus a few days later (she and I helped register people - it was a wild night). That was the first year Girl voted. There was a recount for a senate seat that Al Franken won by a very small margin, as you may recall.
Every vote counts, I told her.
In 2010 Boy got to vote, and there was a recount for the Governorship of Minnesota.
Every vote counts, I told them both.
I haven't whined much this year, compared with 2008, for example. It's not because I am not watching, because I am. Mostly I think it is because I'm so anxious and dismayed and apprehensive.
But then I get a greeting from Chicago on a goofy news report, and I feel like everything is going to be ok. Silly, I know, but I'll enjoy it for the moment :-)
(Boy-child also participated in a Banned Books Week event. I'm not going to tell you what he read from.)