When I woke up this morning I turned on the news but the election coverage gave me a pit in my stomach so I had to turn it off after 10 minutes. I don’t do well with tight races.
Over breakfast I explained to my 4-year-old that tomorrow is election day and we discussed how the voting process works. She asked why her grandparents are voting for a different candidate than I am, to which I explained that they are old and confused.
It also led to a decent conversation about the importance of having a choice. I threw out the idea of staging our own election, and she ran with it.
For the next hour, her stuffed animals and dolls were voting on which of 3 fruits to eat for dessert tonight – blueberries, raspberries or strawberries.
The mood among voters was calm and respectful. It was inspiring to see so many different species come together in the spirit of democracy.
My favorite moment was the ballot count. My daughter was clearly gunning for strawberries to win – to the point that I was concerned about voter fraud, since she marked all of the ballots herself.
But when it came time to count, she was on pins and needles waiting to see which berry won. And it was a surprisingly close race. Perhaps the thought of rigging the votes never even occurred to her? My sweet, innocent angel.
And yet strawberries did win by two votes in the end, so it’s also possible that she’s just waay too damn smart to be so obvious about cheating. Either way I was impressed.
I suck at crafts and have struggled lately to keep her entertained for more than 15 minutes, so I was delighted that this little activity not only kept her engaged, but offered a bit of a real world lesson. We’ll see if tomorrow brings the opportunity to teach her how to be a gracious winner, or how to keep your chin up in the face of defeat. Pleaseohplease let it be the former.
In the meantime she is already working on a second election to determine if we will have chocolate, ice cream or whipped cream with our strawberries. Proof that there really can be an election where you just can’t lose.
Three cheers for the opportunity to vote.