Watching Barack Obama last night in his infomercial, as he termed it later on Jon Stewart,* got Captain Picklepants and I started on a conversation about the election process. For a nearly-8-year-old boy, he has a pretty good grasp of the concept of electing a president, and since I haven't stopped talking about Barack since I heard him speak in person back in February, he's also fairly clear on where my allegiance lies. (My dog is also fairly clear on that, as is my entire family and circle of friends, my mailman, and the guy who runs the carwash where I lost my Obama magnet two weeks ago who was nice enough to go back in and look for it.)
What my son also realizes is that he lives in a household where the two voting members are politically divided. Yes, John and I are like Mary Matalin and James Carville, only John has a full head of hair, and you're not likely to see the two of us debating our respective sides when you tune in to CNN. I like to use this as an example to my child of how two people can have opposite points of view, and respectfully disagree, but without being nasty or contentious.
So during the infomercial last night, I was telling my son how much I'm looking forward to voting, how it's a privilege, how important it is, etc. So he says, "But, Mom, I know you're not voting for John McCain, right?"
Pouncing on a teachable moment, I said, "No, I'm not, but you want to know something you might think is strange? I actually like John McCain. I have a lot of respect for him as a person. But when you vote, you have to decide on who you think will do a better job as president, and I happen to think Barack Obama will do a better job."
He processes this for a moment, then stripped the right to vote, a privilege and an honor, down to its most basic, primitive level.
"So then voting, is, like, a really, really important game of eeny meeny miny moe?"