November 7 12

I went to sleep around 3, watching CNN.

I woke up around 6, watching CNN.

I’m tired. So very tired. I put my hair up in an unsightly messy bun, I made some super strong coffee, I found my dog lying all lazy and Garfield-like on my dining room table, shooed my kids out the door (because, you guys, they walk to school on their own now and even though I watch them from my front room window and can actually see them as they cross the one street and head into the building—ideally located home ftw!—they walk to school on their own and this is the best thing to happen to my productivity in a very long time)(I will probably have to write about this now because I can almost see the judge-y comment “OH MY GOD ALI, you let your kids walk to school on their own?!”), and went into the kids rooms to make their beds.

It’s a very good kind of tired.

It’s the best kind of tired, really.

I filled out my absentee ballot last month, with my kids at my side. We discussed hows and whys and whats. We talked about the right to vote and how so, so, very important it is. We talked about what it means to have dual citizenship and how we are so lucky that we get to have a say—to have our voices be heard—in two countries. We talked about the two candidates, the two parties. I explained why some people they know and love were hoping for a Mitt Romney win; I explained why some people they know and love were hoping for a Barack Obama win. I told them why I was voting for Barack Obama. They asked a million and a half questions, and I answered them all, as best as I could.

We talked about Facebook and the power of social media and how I haven’t really talked much about my personal politics in my little space on the internet. I have hidden some feeds of people who had hateful, hurtful comments. I have avoided some conversations—because they made me too angry, too sad, too scared. I explained to my kids that some actions of people online have been completely unproductive, but some actions have been amazing, eye-opening, and wonderful—I know some really, really, smart people.

Last night we got some Menchie’s re-enforcements, in preparation for the long night ahead of us—exit polls and predictions and pundits and lots of people with blue eyes and MATH—of waiting and waiting and waiting. I explained how the electoral college works and what the popular vote means. We discussed the different branches of government. We celebrated when certain states went blue and worried when certain ones went red. We talked about Florida (Seriously, Florida.) We had nervous tummy until we began to get cautiously optimistic.

We talked about what would happen if Mitt Romney were to win—how I would be disappointed, but he would still be the President of the United States, and he would deserve my respect. We talked about how we hoped that his supporters would feel the same if Barack Obama were to win the race to 270.

Slowly, slowly, I sent the kids to bed, one by one. They begged for just a few more minutes. They wanted to stay up to watch; they needed to see.

But, alas, bed for them. It was all very Von Trapp family kids having to leave the party.

(There were no tastes of first champagnes, either.)


This morning, after the morning rush, after I threw the kids out the door in their winter coats and hats and gloves, I pulled my lazy dog off of my dining room table, I went into Isabella’s room to make her bed, and I found this.

Obama wins the election

And smiled.

  1. Isabella is my favorite today.

    Comment by Meghan on November 7, 2012
  2. She’s a good one.

    Comment by ali on November 7, 2012
  3. Love.

    Comment by Alex on November 7, 2012
  4. Thanks!
    It makes me feel like I have done something right 🙂

    Comment by ali on November 7, 2012
  5. Love this, Ali.

    Comment by Sharon on November 7, 2012
  6. yay! ive been wondering how much longer i need to stay off facebook so i dont have to read so much hate and anger amongst many people i consider friends.

    Comment by obabe on November 7, 2012
  7. You may want to give it a few more days. There’s a lot of crap on there today. GRoss, really.

    Comment by ali on November 7, 2012
  8. I love this all so much Ali. I’ve always been an American politics junkie, and my dad and I spent a lot of time talking primaries, running mates, and electoral college votes.

    These days, my husband and I have different politcal party views (I’d argue that our political views are more alike than he’d admit), but I think it’s so fantastic for my kids to experience our debates; they get to hear boths sides of arguments and at the end of the day see that we can get along in spite of our differences.

    I spent a little time on the couch last night with each of my kids answering questions and explaining scenarios. In the end, it matters less to me for whom they vote than the fact that they vote (and appreciate how important their vote is). (I can say that because at this point they’re all leaning my way political-wise!)

    Comment by Jennifer on November 7, 2012
  9. I love this so much! I’m so proud of you for teaching your kids about our government. I’m a little teary eyed.

    Comment by Kristabella on November 7, 2012
  10. It’s their government too. As dual citizens, it’s even more important that they know. 🙂

    Comment by ali on November 7, 2012
  11. I know, but your kids, who live in Canada, are more knowledgeable than a lot of kids here. And I love that you make a point to explain it all to them and talk to them all about it AND that they are so into it! IT IS AWESOME!

    Comment by Kristabella on November 7, 2012
  12. And this… this is the moment when you know you are doing something right, as a parent. So for all the times you doubt yourself, remember this.

    Comment by Chantal on November 7, 2012
  13. I love the smiley’s! As a canadian, I am happy too!

    I think Isabella is my favorite today too! How cool it’s your youngest that did this!

    Comment by Sarah on November 7, 2012
  14. Aw, I love this.

    I’m not American (obviously), but I talked to my kids about the election too, because the US impacts Canada.

    Yay, Obama!

    Comment by Angella on November 7, 2012
  15. I love her.

    Comment by Heather on November 7, 2012
  16. I stayed up as long as possible with my 13 year old talking, answering questions, and waiting for the outcome I hoped for. I’m happy that reason won the day.

    Comment by Kat on November 7, 2012
  17. You make their beds in the morning? I bet if my kids knew this they’d wish you were their mom. 🙂

    I was hoping for Obama. I don’t know much about American politic past what I learn from my American friends (and a few relatives), but I like the guy. I think he makes a great president. I stayed up late enough to see who won and then hit the sack. And then when I watched Obama’s speech in the morning I was brought to tears and I have no idea why since he isn’t even my president or anything, but wow. That was a great speech.

    Comment by Mrs. Wilson on November 8, 2012

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