I was a little surprised when The Kid told me yesterday at breakfast that she wanted to go vote with me. There is nothing exciting about voting, except watch the returns that come in way after she falls asleep. But we agreed that I would take her with me after work instead of before pre-school because she didn't want to rush.
At her doctor appointment yesterday, she leaned in to whisper to me.
Her: "You told a fib, Papa. You said we were voting but we are at the doctor instead."
Me: "Sorry, kiddo. Tomorrow is Election Day and we can't vote until then."
Her: "But I want to vote today!"
After a little more discussion, we agreed that she could wait a day and that she only wanted to go vote when I went.
I was excited to take her because I want to help her build some of the memories of civic participation I hold dear. Walking into the old school lever voting booth in the Vermontville Opera House, talking politics at the dinner table and watching political conventions are all things that helped me understand the importance of voting.
Riding on my back, she grabbed all the campaign literature anyone would hand her on the way into our polling location. She quizzed me about the ballot application process. I held her so she could watch me fill-in my Scantron circles. We talked about why it is important to not read my vote aloud as I was filling in the circles. She waited patiently while we waited to feed my ballot into the machine.
Most importantly to me, she was excited to put on her "I voted" sticker when we got home, even though all she could do was observe. I pray her excitement for voting lasts for a lifetime.