Every two years, on the first Tuesday of November, my day goes a little something like this…
Go vote, work, eat dinner, and then veg out in front of the television watching election results. I first started doing this in 2000 when I was a Young Republican at Clemson University and working the George W. Bush campaign for President. It was my first official “work” to get someone elected to President and it helped to cement my love/hate relationship with politics.
I can still recall that election night 14 years ago. There was a group of us hanging out at one of our apartments, drinking beer, eating pizza, and discussing the plight of not just the U.S. but also the world. Oh, it was a great time…discussing politics with some of my fellow voters. Back then, I could get pretty passionate about it and some discussions would lead to arguments especially when the occasional Democrat who happened to be the girlfriend of one of my fellow Young Republicans would show up.
That night, we sat up into the wee hours of Wednesday morning as Florida was being tossed back and forth. It was a horrible feeling and I had started regretting all that pizza I ate, as the anxiety in my stomach volleyed back and forth. Finally, it was called that Bush had won and we all celebrated briefly before going to sleep. Then the next morning happened…there was no winner. Florida had Chaddgate commencing. I watched as elderly people tried to figure out if that was a hanging chadd, or if that was just a partial prick. Oh the misery of it all.
Last night, I did much the same. I kept the television on CNN all afternoon while I worked and my boys napped. I listened to the discussions back and forth about what would happen if the Republicans gained control of the Senate or if the Democrats could stave off a trouncing. What would the President do? What message would it send? I cooked dinner as my husband voted before coming home. I turned the news off long enough to allow us to have our family dinner (rule in our house…no t.v. while eating dinner). And as my husband did the dishes and the boys played together, I opened a bottle of wine, sat down on the couch and started watching election results…MY PERFECT EVENING (really it was perfect just having my husband do dishes and my boys playing together).
Occasionally, Davey would climb into my lap and want to turn the television to something else. I did my best to explain to my 3 year old the importance of watching the results. It went down about as well as the debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush when Al Gore started discussing his “lock box”. That was entertaining!
Two more years, Henry will be Davey’s age now and Davey will be 5. Hopefully, by that point I will have instilled some of the importance of the election day within Davey. I’m not naïve enough to believe that he’ll sit alongside me watching the results happily, but I am hoping for discussion, questions, and hopefully a small amount of passion for it like his mommy.