Yesterday my list was longer than the hours I had in front of me. I had work, one sick kid at home, two kid appointments, senior pictures (that were luckily postponed), voting, grocery shopping, making cheeseburger pie and keeping the grand-baby on the list. That doesn’t include the stuff I didn’t put on the list, like laundry, iTigers, lunch drop-offs, or desperately hoping to squeeze in a nap. Needless to say, it was a typical too-much-t0-do kind of day.
Lucky for me, Blondie decided to throw a little back-up my way. She covered one of my after school pick-ups and kept tabs on the sick one at home so that I could still do every thing else on the list. List Item #7- taking my 8th grader to the doctor, and I was dreading that appointment more than anything. He’s had the same doctor since he was a tiny little baby. He’s very picky. When he was little she treated him for a spider bite, which led him to believe she had semi-magical powers. We’re really going to miss her. (Recently she left our hometown clinic.) She was the only reason I hadn’t tried out the new clinic they integrated into our school system, so I decided to finally take the leap.
The cool thing about these new in-school clinics is that they are super convenient. There’s hardly ever a wait. You don’t have to get your kid in and out of school. They call them out of class and send them right back, but Tucker and I were there right at the end of the day. We finished our appointment in a super timely fashion and we jumped in the car. I turned towards the fair grounds and alarm bells went off in his head. “Wrong way, MOM, wrong way!” He was definitely perplexed.
“I need to go vote!” I said. I fully expected an argument about how I should drop him off at home first, but he quickly changed his tone to a bright “OK!” and off we went.
At first my license didn’t pull anything up. They asked me if I was registered. OF COURSE I AM. They asked if I had ever voted before. OK, I’m the dork who was excited to turn “of voting age!” I was so mad when Bill Clinton ran and I was only 16; I was the Captain of the Debate Team and I knew all about Hillary Clinton and I had all my arguments listed on an index card. I truly never thought that would come around again…
But it did, and all my years of debating are just too tangled up with who I am. I like to have a good argument. I don’t know what has happened to the debaters of this world. It’s like they all moved to Pansy Land because if you argue with anyone you’re personally offending them. Now I’m not here to stir the frenzy back up. It is what it is. Who won is who won. I have friends who are celebrating and friends in disbelief. But a lot of good things came out of this election.
Back to last night, when they swiped my license and nothing happened, they had to call it in. VOTER FRAUD. I was ready to scream it! Apparently it was more like a typo… they had my name as TifffanyLayne instead of TiffanyLayne. 3 F’s. I almost got all worked up over an extra F. Breathe Tiffany! Breathe! They found me in the system- faithful voter, but as they were making that call a few first-time voters joined me. Their precinct numbers were unknown. These men were much older than I am, and it was their first trip to the polls. I call that a positive- voter turnout!
My kids were all a bundle of questions and nerves. The first election I remember is when Ronald Reagan became President. I was 4 years old. I’d listen to the radio with its big push buttons and 8 track player and those over the top voices that ranted so smoothly over the airwaves. I remember his face on our TV. It all seemed so exciting to me, and now I see my children, so many different ages, really soaking in the election. I’m listening to the arguments they’re having at school. I’m shocked that 8 year-olds are discussing immigration and the economy and Veterans’ benefits. Eighth-graders are debating the ins and outs of impeachment and whether it would be wise to vote for someone who could possibly face federal charges soon. My senior threatened to move to Mexico. He knows it’s no better down there, but he said he could definitely buy his own beer to wash down the sorrows. “Senor, uno cerveza por favor!” He was kidding (I think).
Several times I found myself engaged it what they were talking about. I had the opportunity to explain to them the Electoral College, which gave me a small twinge of sadness. My step-dad is the one who explained it to me, back when the first George Bush ran for office. I hope my explanation was just as interesting. All through this election I’ve had the chance to teach my children things that just don’t come up in daily conversation- things about honesty, integrity, service, history, tradition, and why I believe our system has faltered and what I think we could do to change it.
I was reminded that I love political science. Heck, it was my major the first time I went to college, but that’s a story for another day. Today, I’m grateful that this election is over, and that it gave me a whole lot of “teachable moments” as one of my friends would say. I hope my kids learned something new about me and the way I think because I sure learned something new about each one of them. I learned that as small as they seem, they care about this world they’re living in, and they were willing to miss out on a few minutes of Madden 16 to be a part of a historical election, so about last night—
we know who won, let’s get to moving up and on!
(P.S. Did anyone else notice that the concession/victory speeches were by far the classiest moments of this election? Hopefully we can all jump on that new tone.)
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