And I still think he’s a good president. Has he accomplished every single thing I ever wanted? Well, clearly not, of course. That would be impossible. But I at least feel like things are moving in the right direction.
But, rather than go into what I think this means for the future of our country and all of that (which I’m sure has been discussed thoroughly on a million other blogs and far more eloquently than I could state it), let me say this on the topic of kids and the election:
This is the first time that Catie has been interested in any type of news or current events. During the last campaign, she was so little – she wasn’t even 2 years old yet – that she really had no clue what was going on. Now she’s in kindergarten where they have mock elections and she wants to ask me questions about why I like Obama more than Romney. (Believe me, trying to explain foreign policy and healthcare and equal rights to a 5 year-old is no easy feat.)
I also realized that I have to be so careful of how I phrase things to her. She asked what a President is and why we have elections, and I explained that while some countries have kings and queens, we have a President who’s in charge, but only for a little while, and then we choose a new one (or we can vote to have the same one twice in a row). Somehow she conflated the idea of royalty being a life sentence with the presidency, and she said, “Why do the people voting for Romney want President Obama to die?” Wait, WHAT?? No, baby, they don’t want him to die. (Well, a few fringe extremists might, but I’m not telling her that.) I tried to explain that NO NO NO, that’s not it at all, it’s just that some people think that Romney would do a better job, but that even if Romney wins, Obama would still be alive, and his wife and their 2 little girls would be fine too.
This morning when she woke up, she asked me who won after she went to sleep, and I told her that Obama won, and she said, “YAY! Because we wanted him to stay our President, right?” That’s right, Bug.
She blows my mind, that kid.
I suppose by the time the next election rolls around, I’ll be explaining all of these concepts to Lucy for the first time, and Catie (as an almost-10 year-old) will understand it on a completely different level than she does now.
Hard to imagine. But then, looking back at my archives from 2008, I could never imagine Catie as the big kid she is now. I guess that’s just how it works.
Random aside, but since I’m talking about politics, and since 4 states voted for marriage equality last night, it reminded me of this:
Catie used to love to go to Chick-Fil-A. It used to be one of our weekly things that she and I did. I liked that their chicken was actually identifiable as chicken (instead of the chicken mush you get at McD’s and places like that), I loved their diet lemonade, and Catie loved their indoor play areas.
Then there was that whole thing this past summer about how they contribute to several anti-gay causes, and I just couldn’t bring myself to give them more of my money. Catie asked me about it, and I said, “The man who is in charge of Chick-Fil-A thinks that everybody doesn’t deserve to be treated equally, and I don’t believe that. He says that only some people should be allowed to get married, and I think that anyone should be allowed to get married if they love each other. So we aren’t going to go there anymore, or give them anymore of our money, until they stop being mean to people.”
And you know? She totally accepted that, without question. A few weeks later, my dad offered to take her to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and she said, “No, Pop-Pop, we don’t go to Chick-Fil-A anymore.” And she basically parroted back exactly what I said.
My dad got annoyed, and glared at me and said, “You’re indoctrinating your kids already?”
And you know what? Yes. Yes, I am. And I’m proud of it too. If both of my girls grow up with empathy for others, and feeling passionately that everyone deserves to be treated equally? Then I think I will have done a damn fine job of raising them.