All across the United States it is election day. Not that our elections have anything to do with balance or simplifying our lives, but it's just one of those things that is central to who we are as a family. In Oregon we only have vote by mail, so there aren't polling places to go to, or cute little "I Voted" stickers. Heck - if you don't procrastinate, all voting takes is dropping an envelope in the mail box.
Sometimes I worry that the low key nature of the voting process isn't communicating to our boys how special and important elections are to our daily lives. I have strong memories of waiting in line at our neighborhood school for my mom to go in the little curtained booth to make her choices. There was a quiet reverence in the gym I had only ever experienced in church. I was fascinated, and couldn't wait for my turn to vote. And even before that, I remember delivering lunch to my grandmother as she worked at a different school checking voters in and out. It seemed so big and important. But I never have gone anywhere to vote, and my boys won't have the experiences I had.
So I'm focusing on what we can do to talk about voting. Today each boy took a ballot (my husband's and mine) and dropped it in the ballot box at the library. We talked about a couple of the issues on the ballot (a new library bond being one of them), and tomorrow we will talk about the results.
It isn't waiting in a silent gym, or seeing rolls of registration forms and flag stickers. But it is something. And even if the rituals aren't there, our conversations about the responsibilities we have as citizens will be.