Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Life is slowly returning to normal after Hurricane Sandy's arrival in Fairfield.  The town was able to get all 10 polling stations up and running for the election today (yes, Ellie, I got a phone call with this update), so I headed off to vote in my first election with Lilly and Jack in tow.

Last night, Jim and I were talking about the election and Lilly chimed in as she so often does with an, "Excuse me, what are you talking about?" We started telling her a little bit about how today, people go and vote for the President.  Every statement prompted a new question from Lilly.  Here's how our conversation went:

Jim: We're talking about Election Day.

Lilly:  What's Election Day?

Amelia:  It's the day when people get to vote for the President of the United States.  That's in North America--you know, like your continent song?

Lilly:  Oh!  What's the President?

Jim:  He's the leader of our country.

Lilly:  Oh!  I could be the leader of our country!  (That's right Lilly, keep those aspirations big!)

Jim:  Yes, you could be our leader! Mum couldn't be the leader though, because she was born in Australia. 

Lilly:  That's another continent, like Asia and Africa! Who is the President?

Amelia:  Barack Obama

Lilly:  Who's that? I've never heard of him.  (insert Jim's smug smile here)

Jim:  Who do you you want to be the President?

Lilly:  Abraham Lincoln.  You know, because he's on coins.

Our conversation kept going and going, and continued on today when I took Lilly and Jack to vote.

As soon as we walked into the polling station, Lilly said in her not-so-subtle 3-year-old voice, "Mum, which man here is the President?  I don't see him."  Everyone around smiled, as they often do when a little person says something loudly and innocently in such a quiet place.  She told the lady checking us in that "I'm wearing my winter coat and I love it because it has thumb holes!" and then told Jack, "No, Jack, you're too little to vote.  Only big girls and mums can vote."  When we were walking over to the voting booth, I asked Lilly whether she thought I should vote for Obama or Romney and she held strong with her original stance.  "No, Mum, I think you should vote for Abraham Lincoln."  She asked if she could try and stay inside the lines and color in the circles, and part of me thought, Why not?  Our country isn't looking good regardless of who the next President is.  The Mum in me knew that I couldn't let Lilly do that so I voted and let Lilly slide my sheet into the machine, which she thought was more fun anyway.  She also got an "I voted" sticker on the way out.  Jack sat in the stroller through all this, babbling and waving and pulling off his socks.  I wonder what thoughts go through his head when he listens to his chatty, chatty sister all day long.

And so, my first Election Day as a US Citizen comes to a close.

My voting helper!

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