November 8, 2006

Election Day Reflections

No folks, this isn't the typical political rant -- so, don't turn away just yet.....

I was feeling like I was in a blogging funk..... hmmmm, what to post about..... lately, all I've done is complain, bitch and moan about being nine months pregnant -- big and awkward with high blood pressure. People are kind, but they'll only read that kind of stuff for so long (no matter how wittily written) before they label you a whiner and start reading somebody else.

I've been tagged for a couple of memes -- and I will, I promise, I will post those -- once I can string together some coherent thoughts.... I'm always paranoid that my answers will disappoint people..... the truth is, I'm pretty boring..... answering all those questions may let the cat out of the bag. So in the meantime, Insurance Mom gave me an idea -- so, here it goes.

A lot of families have things that they do together..... you've heard the saying "the family that prays together, stays together" or some derivation of it..... growing up, there was always that family in the neighborhood that had "movie night" or some other activity that they all did together -- I always thought it was nice.

My family...... well, ours was a bit different -- we always voted together.

My parents are immigrants, they came here from Ireland in the late 1960s -- my mother became a citizen in the early '70s, but my Dad didn't take his oath until I was in high school (yes, he was a LEGAL alien for close to 20 years). It would have been a cool thing to see -- your Dad being sworn in as an American citizen..... but he wouldn't let us go with him -- instead, he went by himself -- he maintained that it was a very personal thing and didn't want/need an audience.... he's an odd duck.... I'm still disappointed that we didn't get to see it.

Being naturalized citizens, my parents take voting very seriously -- we'll ignore the fact that they always get reprimanded for going into each other's booth in a desperate attempt to recollect who'd they'd decided to vote for for park commissioner. They love being Americans and consider it one of the greatest choices that they made for their children..... they chose to build their lives here.

So as it happened, in 1992 -- my Dad and I were able to vote in our first presidential election together. My parents and I trotted off to the polls -- and so the tradition began. A couple of years later, Aunt P joined -- and then uncle Ro-ro. For a while, we used to vote before work.... then, when Uncle Ro-ro turned 21 -- we'd go vote and then hit the pub for a pint.

The election monitors (old ladies that check your ID) always remarked how lovely it was that we always arrived to vote together. It was a nice tradition, and now that I live in another state.... it's one that I miss.

I voted on my way to the doctor's office yesterday morning -- I wanted to make sure that I had voted.... just in case the doctor had baby-delivery plans for me (he didn't) -- I didn't want to miss my chance. On my way out, some kid holding a sign thanked me for voting -- it kind of seemed absurd to me. Voting is a privilege -- people fight and die for this privilege -- in some countries, women aren't allowed to vote -- wouldn't it be disrespectful not to vote?

I'm no fan of politics..... too much time, energy and way too much money is spent on ridiculous campaigns -- money that could be spent on feeding people, teaching children to read and on curing disease -- but, democracy is beautiful -- it's flawed of course, but beautiful and the only way to make change is to vote.


That was me hopping off my soapbox!


Sue said...

Awesome post! And that's so cool your parents and family all voted together growing up.

You'll just have to start your own family voting tradition with the Lil' Dub and Lil'er Dub (when she comes - I'm betting girl).

And, even a "I'm still here, no baby yet" post will get read (by me anyway!).

Kara said...

Although she didn't get to go w/ me yesterday... kiddo did vote w/ me in the last presidential election and we went out to eat to celebrate.

That was a really moving post, Mrs Big D. Well done.

Melissa said...

Hmm interesting, very interesting. You know, I sent mine in thinking it would save me my sanity, but next year I think I will take my girls.

Mamacita Tina said...

What a great idea, a family that votes together! A special day/activity indeed, one to celebrate. Get the word out, we need more people/families to vote.

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