Yesterday, we went and voted as a family unit. Andrew beat us to the polls (pesky day job), so KidBrother Sam joined us. The plan was to go and vote, then go get coffee.
After I was done voting, Genevieve and I went outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. There were two little guys tooling around on their bikes, while their (baby-wearing) mom supervised. Once their dad was done voting, they took a family photo because it was the mom's first time voting as a newly-minted US citizen.
It warmed my heart, because the little guys were SO EXCITED for their mom. (Possibly, also the "I voted" stickers. Our polling place is pretty generous with the stickers.) I remember my parents' citizenship ceremony clearly, and how excited we were as a family. It was sweet to quietly observe another family making a similar memory.
On our way to coffee after voting, KidBrother Sam talked about how there should be consequences to *not* voting. On one hand, he said, he doesn't want the uninformed voting. On the other, (and I paraphrase) not voting because of X arbitrary reason should be discouraged.
(I love listening to him work through these things, and pointing out the small issues. Together, we will solve the world's problems.)
I thought about how this is Genevieve's first election, and it reminded me of *my* first time voting, about ten years ago.
Our polling place used to be at the elementary school that we attended; a healthy, five-minute walk from home. After work, I parked at home and hoofed on over to have my political voice heard.
A mock-election was being held for the elementary school kids, in the cafeteria. I walked up to the "real" polling station, and took a deep breath, trying to figure out where to start. ("Chaotic" seems insufficient in describing an elementary school cafeteria.)
"Excuse me, do you know where we put our ballots?" a little guy asked me, maybe six or seven years old, "It's my first time voting."
"Actually, no," I answered, "It's my first time voting, too. Let's go ask."
We both got our questions answered, and a few minutes later, I cast my first votes. I can't wait to continue our tradition of civic responsibility, followed by our morning coffee and political discussion as Genevieve gets older.
She already has a lot of opinions; at the very least, the discussions promise to be interesting.