I’m going to take you back to Sunday morning. My husband is doing some quick grocery shopping and I’m with the 2 boys in the cafe, sipping some coffee while they are eating their bagels. We just left Lowe’s to get some more wood for our Ninja Warrior course we are building downstairs and remembered that we needed a few things. Luckily, the grocery store is right there AND there is a place for me and the boys to hang out – because it never goes well when all 4 of us go shopping at the same time.
Saturday night (the previous night) was another Republican debate and the TV channel had on a Sunday morning talk show. They were showing replays from the debate the night before and my older son, who is 8, asked me who I was going to vote for. Full disclosure, I voted for Obama – both times. And I voted for Charlie Baker, who is a Republican governor here in Massachusetts. So, fair question since in the past 4 years my kids have seen me vote for a Democrat and Republican.
Before I could give a response, my son asked: “Mama, is it true the Trump wants to build a wall to Mexico? Why would he do that?”
And then, “Mama, aren’t you going to vote for Hillary because she is a women? She would be the first woman president and that would be cool.”
And then my younger son chimed in, “Mama, wasn’t Bush already President – or maybe it was his brother?”
“No, it was his dad who was President.’ [Older son]
“But see that commercial, his brother was President, too!” [Younger son]
At this point, I was smiling and even chuckling. And almost simultaneously, they both said “Mama, who should be President of the United States?”
Wow! And just like that, they brought back a reality check. I was honest with them and said I really don’t know who I will vote for [because I don’t]. There are a lot of things to consider – who the person is, who is on the team around that person, their advisors, etc., if I respect them, if I feel I can trust them to make solid decisions, etc. I usually lose them at this point, mostly because I don’t give an immediate answer and share my train of thought with them. But this time they stayed – and they were listening.
We ended up having a 20 minute conversation about who is running for President, what they think about them and who they think I should vote for.
As an aside, they were outraged to find out that individual votes don’t count in the general election and that whoever gets the most votes in each state counts. I agree with them on that point because that is an excuse I hear from people who don’t vote, at least in Massachusetts, as we tend to run as a Blue state in general elections and often times Red for Governor races. Why vote since whoever the democrat is will win MA? At least for the general elections…
But getting back to the story on Sunday, all of this is a long way of saying, the honest conversations may not always be the easiest ones to have but they are definitely the ones with the most impact.
And I can say this, when my kids ask me, “Mama, what do you think?” they know that while they won’t always get a short answer, they will get an honest one.