Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Take Your Daughter to VOTE Day

Today was a scrapbook kind of day, if I had taken any pictures and if I actually, ya know, scrapbooked.

I took my daughter with me to the polls. Before we went, we talked a lot about how the election process works (on her level), how very important it is to vote, and how she had to be absolutely on her best behavior while Mommy carried out her civic duty and all. We talked about what kinds of things would be on the ballot, about the people and the laws (amendments).

She said, "I hope they don't change the law."

"What law?" I asked.

"The American law! I hope they don't change it."

This comment launched a conversion about how the law is different than laws in general, and so on. It was quite the civics lessons in the family car.

I have to say that she was an angel. Most of the poll workers were AARP eligible and we said a lot of yes ma'ams and yes sirs. One poll worker actually thanked me for coming out to vote. I told her that if the Iraqis could do it, I figure I could, too. She literally started to cry.

Talk about patriotic. It was very moving. Seriously, I was touched.

I asked for a kids' sample ballot for my daughter and they kindly obliged. I went over my own ballot with her and told her we wouldn't discuss who Mommy voted for until we got to the car. She filled out her own little "ballot" and was very proud of herself.

We walked to the car, hand in hand, each wearing our own "I Voted" sticker. At that moment, I was filled with so much emotion and gratefulness. It struck me that it was really not that long ago that no woman could vote in this country. Here I was, taking my daughter with me to the polls for the very first time, without fear of persecution or even death. I explained to her that women could not vote many years ago, along with certain races. Thankfully, those laws have changed and we all can vote.

And that is why I vote. I vote because I can. I vote for my daughter and for others who cannot speak up for themselves. Thanks be to God for the women who went before me who fought for me to vote. Thanks be to God that I am an American citizen. I pray that I can live up to the responsibility that comes with that citizenship.


Sprymary said...

Beautifully said!! I am touched as well.

Julie said...

Melanie, I took my daughter, Emily to vote with me today as well. We saw our neighbors, and Emily got an "I Voted" sticker when I got mine.

They didn't have any sample ballots at our dinky precinct, so we came home, found one online and printed it out.

I figure kids do what they see their parents doing, and since her brother is in Iraq, she needed to be a part of it all.

Big Mama said...

What a great example for your daughter to see. Days like today make me grateful for the privileges that I often take for granted.

Air Force Family said...

Isn't it amazing how times have changed? I'm proud to be a part of a country that allows women to vote. You are setting a great example for your daughter!

Linda said...

I had no idea you could take children and do that exercise! I will tell all my frieds.