Friday, March 31, 2017

How to win elections

Politics are a big topic of conversation around our house, much to the chagrin of both Megan and Jason. Jonathan enjoys every aspect of politics though, so that is mainly what we end up talking about. He said the other day that in addition to weight-lifting and running, he'd like voting to be one of our "things". A thing we always do together.

He is a determined soul and he's still talking about politics as a career. He's also talking about going to law school and maybe getting his minor in education so he can be a teacher. He's nineteen. The world is at his feet.

We'll see.

"I think I know the secret," he told me, as we ran toward the wind. "I understand how to win an election."

"How's that?" I asked. Okay, I panted. Because, running.

"Make sure your own mother would vote for you," he told me.

It's just that simple, I guess? I don't know. I'm pretty sure my mom wouldn't vote for me, we don't share political views. I don't share political views with many people in my family. That's okay, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and mostly I just stay out of those conversations because while I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions I certainly don't want to argue mine with you, but man. I had never thought about it in that way.

Being a mother of adult children makes my brain hurt you guys. Damn.

"You would vote for me, right?"

"Of course," Like this is even a question.

"Because you agree with me, or because you are my mom?" he asked.

I had a vision of myself many years from now, meeting him at the airport in Raleigh so his motorcade could drive us together to the polling station and I could cast my vote for my son for President. That's a very sweet vision, by the way, but one I'm not sure I love. This country is far too divisive these days and as I recently lamented to my therapist, "My God, it's hard to have a mouth like mine and a heart like mine at the same time". I love my tender-hearted boy so much that seeing him torn apart on a national level would probably be pretty traumatic for me. Hell, I wanted to run over some boys on our street when we lived in Knoxville because they made fun of 8 year-old Jonathan for wearing glasses. Say something about my babies foreign policy and I WILL CUT YOU.

Honestly? I would vote for him because I agree with him but in my heart of hearts? I would want to vote against him because I'm his mom.

I've seen with my own eyes the evil and meanness and hate that politics brings out in people and honest to God, it scares me.

Would you want your child to be involved in that? Probably not.

Would you tell your kid that? Your kid who you are pretty sure is actually a genius and you are not just saying that because you are his mother? Your kid who has brilliant ideas, plans, goals, and dreams? Your kid who recently wrote a Bill, for fun, that was far more intelligent, well thought out, and researched than the majority of the Bills that get passed these days? Your kid would could actually be someone who would really make a difference in this world?

Probably not.

"I would vote for you because I agree with you," I told him.

I didn't tell him I'm his biggest fan. That I look at him and his sister and their ideas and their hearts and their minds and I see this big, beautiful potential that I'm awed by. That this kid, this little boy who had to have a tutor in Kindergarten, continues to amaze me every day with his intelligence, grace, and humor.  That I really don't agree with every single thing he thinks, but his passion for what he thinks and his willingness to listen to what others have to say about things makes him so special. He's open. He's willing to hear, wants to learn. Told me the other day he was sad, really, really sad because he understood that he could never learn everything and there was just so very much to learn. To know. To understand.

I didn't say anything else. I just kept my head down and kept running.

I think he might know how I feel though.

He gets stuff.

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