Monday, November 3, 2008

From the mouths of babes

My seven-year-old tumbled off the bus with an "I voted" sticker on his chest. His school had held a presidential election and he was jazzed about it. I asked him who he voted for and he proudly announced, "Obamu! Or however you say it."

As we walked home, I mused over the landmark nature of this election. Our country will finally have diversity in the Oval office, whether it be a woman or an African-American man. The issues are incredibly divisive. I'm not old enough to remember the world before Reagan. And I take much greater interest in international politics than domestic issues. But let's face it, you have to be living in a hole to not understand how the world is changing and how this election will break ground.

I also marveled at how my children's generation may finally be growing up blind to the color of skin. My parents tried to raise me that way, but I still learned racial slurs from others throughout my childhood. I do my best to teach my kids not just tolerance but love for the diversity of human beings on our sorry little planet. So I was thrilled to know that the color of Obama's skin gave my child nary a pause-- it wasn't even a factor.

Later, when we were alone, I asked him why he voted for Obama. I imagined something simple and profound that I could share with all of you. His response?

"Well, this girl Elaine in my class, she said that he will be really nice to the kids who get off the bus."

Ah, proof as to why you have to be eighteen to vote.

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