Friday, November 2, 2012

Election Season Pride

                   We were driving to school earlier this week when we heard on the radio that Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren would be appearing in our hometown that day.
                   “Mom! Did you hear that? Elizabeth Warren is going to be in Brockton today!”
                   My ten-year-old son Owen has been fascinated by the elections this year.
                   “Want me to find out where she's going to be?”
                   “Could we go?”
                   “Sure. As long as it isn't during school. I'll check her website for information.”
                   Owen slumped back in his seat pretending to faint from excitement.
                   The appearance was right after school at a local Greek restaurant. Owen was enraptured by Ms. Warren's stump speech. He waited patiently for our chance to speak to her. She was very gracious and shook both of my boys hands and addressed them each by name.
James, Elizabeth Warren and Owen.
                   I'm excited that my son has shown so much interest in the elections. But the vitriol he's exposed to bothers me. He's completely given up his morning diet of PBS Kids shows for the local news and “Good Morning America”. He hears the attack ads and asks, “Is that true?” Well yes. And no. At ten years old the truth is black and white. He doesn't understand the gray areas. He doesn't understand what happens when quotes are taken out of context or statistics are manipulated. And I doubt I do a very good job of explaining it between tasks during our early morning rush. I've cautioned him about making snap decisions about people who support different candidates than he does. 
The boys with their autograph.
                   For now, I'm proud that he's interested. He isn't old enough to vote yet, but he's smart enough to know that whoever is elected will have an impact on his world. He cares about who is going to be shaping our country. When I vote on Tuesday, I'll be taking my kids with me. I encourage you to do the same.