Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In person

Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!
"I voted on Saturday."
"I mailed mine in weeks ago."

Around the lunch table yesterday, it seemed like hardly any of my colleagues were going to vote in person today. Everyone did their civic duty, but in their attempts to avoid lines and crowds, I think they missed out on the magic.

When I was little, my mom always made a big deal out of taking me to vote with her. We'd go inside the little blue cloth stall and excitedly close the thick, velvety curtain behind us. Firmly, with purpose and enthusiasm, she would push the switches to select her chosen candidates, telling me how important and special this process was. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I definitely remember walking away, voting stickers on our shirts, with a sense that we had done something BIG.

"I just love going on Tuesday to push those buttons myself!" I tried to convey to my colleagues the impression my mom gave me on all those Tuesday trips to the little blue stalls.

And so, as I unbuckled Sweetie from her carseat this afternoon, I put some extra sparkle in my eyes. "We're going to vote, Sweetie!"
"Vote! We're going to vote for the president!" I swung her onto my hip, straightened her stars-and-stripes dress, and marched up to the "VOTING TODAY" sign.

The poll workers oohed and ahhhed as they swiped my ID. "What a cutie! She looks so patriotic!" Beaming, they got her a sticker and grinned when she tenderly patted it as I put it on her dress.

No heavy blue curtains or metal switches anymore, but the touchscreen machine certainly got Sweetie's attention as soon as I started to push my selections. As it chortled and chirped, spitting out the little paper on the side, she wiggled and giggled against me, pointing her tiny finger back and forth between the screen and the paper.

"See, that was fun, right?" As soon as I touched the final green button, I pushed my forehead against hers, squeezing her tight. "Your first presidential election!"


  1. And the tradition continues. đŸ˜„ Your machine sounds a whole lot more interesting than our process. We don't have a machine, but use an ink pen to connect two parts of an arrow. Your Sweetie would have been bored at our polling place.

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. As a mother, you truly never know what memories you are creating for your daughter. I am glad you enjoyed this one. America makes it an honor to vote and have a peaceful transition to a new president. I still also sparkle during voting. Thanks for your vivid recollection. More importantly, thanks for creating this memory for sweetie.

  3. I remember taking my kids, too, Jennifer. How wonderful that you have begun. Thanks for reading both my posts too. I've been with a granddaughter and am trying to catch up on all the posts, and watching the election coverage. What a time it has been, and will be!


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