This afternoon, the four of us–two actual voters and two very curious underage observers–headed down together to the local middle school to take part in the democratic process. What an amazing turnout! It was exciting to see such a large crowd of people there, including many who were standing in line to register, making me wonder if it was their first time.
As we walked in, Katie asked me, “How does somebody get to run for president in the first place?” I started explaining the primary process and how each party gets to field a candidate. Caleb, who had been running in sugar-fueled circles around us since we got out of the car, suddenly perked up at the word “party”.
“This is a party? I LOVE parties!” he exclaimed loudly and to the great amusement of onlookers.
It took us about half an hour of waiting in line, craftily directing and redirecting the kids’ attention to keep them from tormenting the people around us with uncontrolled fidgeting and unsolicited advice about who to vote for, but at last we made it to the front of the line and stepped up to the booths to cast our votes.
I enjoy the part of voting where you give your ballot to the worker at the ballot box, who slides it discreetly into the slot, secret-agent-fashion, and then announces in a loud, clear voice to the room: “Katrina has voted!” (I always have to stop myself from adding “So let it be written, so let it be done!”)
The lady at the box tonight was smiling and cheerful, clearly happy to be there and to be a part of this day. When Paul and Caleb walked up to her hand in hand to deposit Paul’s vote, she not only gave Caleb his own sticker, she announced his name, too, much to his delight.
He was absolutely beaming as we left, his sticker-emblazoned chest thrust proudly forward while he marched down the halls of democracy next to his father.
It was a very sweet moment.
He’s still looking for the party, though.