Old Enough to Vote!

My eldest daughter and I were chatting the other night about the current political climate and she casually reminded me that she will be old enough to vote in the next, upcoming presidential election. How on earth did THAT happen?! How odd to think of my baby sitting down to read the voter’s pamphlet and being able to cast her own votes based on her own choices, information, and misinformation…

I take voting pretty seriously and I don’t think I’ve missed an election–local or otherwise–since I first started my own voting career at the age of 18. I still remember who I cast my first vote for in a presidential primary (Jesse Jackson) and the thrill of finally feeling like I was being allowed to have my say. I get a little emotional about voting and feel that it is my privilege and obligation in appreciation of all those women who struggled and worked and spent their entire lives focused on making it possible so my daughters and me could cast our own votes. So, while I can’t believe that my baby is nearly old enough to vote, I’m excited that she gets to be a part of things too!

So, I hope that this is one area where I’ve set down some lasting example and values. My kids know that I’m a bit of a zealot about voting and not everyone feels the same way. I know that their father isn’t nearly as committed or intense about voting as I am–so they’ve seen both sides. Of course, for those of you who read my blogs here, you know that one of the struggles of parenting older teens is preparing to let go and trust that as a parent you’ve done your best to at least share your own values. I do know that my daughter was talking about the political scene and the candidates with conviction and the assumption that she would, in fact, be casting her own vote. Even if it felt a little strange to have the reality of her growing up brought to me yet again so forcefully, I’m looking forward to sending three voting adults out into the world!

See Also: Teaching Our Children the Difference Between Having an Opinion and Being Opinionated and Treating Teenagers Like Adults