I voted yesterday.
When I pulled into our polling place there was a very long line snaking out the door that made me want to keep on driving, but instead I parked the car, put Brenna in the stroller, grabbed Addie's hand and went off to exercise my right to vote.
I warned Addie that the line could be long and that voting was not a fast or easy process, but a very important one. She very seriously said to me "I know Mom. I can be very patient and good". Turns out that the long line we spied wasn't for my precinct, for my precinct there was only one person in front of me.
As I sat down to fill in my scan-tron ballot Addie said to me, not so quietly, "I sure hope you are voting for President Obama". I smiled and told her I was, letting her look over my shoulder as I cast my votes - I managed to get distracted by her questions and vote for a candidate for Senate that I didn't support. Yes, I was that person at the polling place holding up the process by having to get a new ballot to correct my mistake - had to make sure my vote counted!
As we left, Addie held my hand with one hand while she fingered her I voted sticker gently with her other. When we got to the car she told me that was fun, Mom. When do we know who won?. I tried to explain to her, in five year old speak, the democratic process - her take away was it's a long, long process. After a few minutes she told me that she wanted to send President Obama a letter and a picture when we got home. I told her I thought that was a great idea.
We went on with our day, driving to a play date an hour away, getting lunch, working on homework. But yesterday evening, as we were waiting for Andy to come home for dinner, Addie pulled out her pencil and crayons and construction paper and got to work on her letter to the President. I let her do it on her own, helping her only with her spelling.
After breakfast she worked very precisely on addressing, sealing and stamping her envelope. As we waited for the bus she slipped her masterpiece into the mailbox and smiled, Yeah, Mom, he's going to love it. Our President is just going to love it and I am so happy for him.