Right now I can hear my kids playing Democratic National Convention downstairs:
Daughter: What we need right now is Energy! Energy, and we need Exercise! These are both very good for our country.
Son: Hillary! Hillary!
Daughter: Let's have Michelle Obama come on up. She's done such a great job.
Son: What about John McCain?
Daughter: No! I'm sorry, but John McCain is bad news. He just doesn't get it. He will not be speaking.
Son: He's going to be really mad.
Daughter: Presidents can't be mad.
My husband and I have spent the past four evenings glued to the convention, and the kids have tuned in to all of the big speeches. They know it's important to us, and in-between shushing them, we've tried to explain why in the simplest of terms. But basically they are mostly aware of the cast of characters and which ones we support. Chances are they will spend their youth thinking they are Democrats, just as I considered myself a Republican growing up (though we almost never spoke of politics in our house unless we were getting a lecture from my very conservative grandfather). That's OK, because by the time they are old enough to vote they will hopefully be smart enough to make up their own minds (which better lean to the left if they want to stay in the will). Ha! Kidding! We have no will.
What excites me about the kids being so aware of the election and watching the convention is that they are watching men and women, black and white, old and young, speaking with passion and authority about our future. These are leaders. Important people. They are being praised and cheered by thousands of people. It's opening the door for us to talk to our kids about race and gender equality and to show that people of any color or sex can achieve great things. They will grow up knowing this, expecting this.
So play on, kiddos! Lead your stuffed animals into a better playdate. Stand at the easel and outline your plans for a smarter game of hide and seek. Extol the virtues of energy and exercise to your parents (they need it). You are our future! And our future caregivers! Thank you, and God Bless America!
(And on another note, the pastor who gave the benediction immediately following Obama's speech was my pastor back home in Indiana -- Dr. Joel (J.C.) Hunter. He's at a church in Florida now. While I don't agree with many of his beliefs, I still think he is an amazing, inspirational man. See his video here.)