Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Kindergarten, Hangovers, And Hope.

A kindergarten classroom would be my last choice in which to spend a hung over morning. But at Bea's open house last month, there was desperate pleading for any parent with the desire and the time, to please volunteer in the class.

Other people's kids don't thrill me a bunch, I much prefer the over 80 crowd. And I can't say I wanted to give up one kid free weekday morning per week, but not wanting to seemed a poor excuse to not actually do it.

So I do. Wednesday mornings. Though yesterday, my post-election fog almost had me bailing, sending Bea to school with a note to her teacher claiming *sickness*.

Despite the headache and fogginess, I was feeling oddly energized and positive, given what had kept me up so late.

Tuesday had started out with yet another discussion with Bea and Owen of all things election;

Who is the President?

What is his job?

Who is the other guy?

No, they aren't actually going to be running alongside each other.

Who should we vote for Mommy?

"Well, I'm going to vote for the guy who wants everyone to love everyone. The guy who wants to help people. They guy who wants us to want to help people."

And many more questions over breakfast as we prepared to head to the high school down the street to vote. Trying to keep it simple for the five-year old, and utilizing newly obtained signs for the Deaf nine-year old.

Owen made me stop in the driveway as we were about to leave, ran into the house to fetch his encyclopedia of past presidents.

Bea became silent and appeared terrified as we made our way across the parking lot into the school;

"I'm scared. I don't want to talk to the President." So damn cute.

"Oh, I would LOVE to talk to him, but sadly he's not going to be here today."

They hovered over me while I took the sharpie to the ballot and filled in my ovals.

Then it was their turn.

How cool is my state?

The rest of our day was spent exercising our rights to get hair cuts, to eat great southwestern food, and to attend karate class.

The second the kids were tucked in, I assumed the position in the big living room chair, wielding remote control and iPhone, cross stitch project on lap, wine glass filled to brim, and election coverage on the TV.

I rather enjoyed the bumpy ride. Just ask the mostly empty wine bottle. The big one.

And then, just after 11pm, feeling more of a fun mix of relief and disbelief than of victory. And quite possibly a goofy grin.

Before I know it, I'm standing in a kindergarten classroom, cursing the flourescent light, wincing at the sound of the bell, wishing the little voices actually sounded little, as I perform my assigned tasks of cutting and folding and stapling.

Story time happens. Being the month of Thanksgiving, the focus is on family, and the book of the day visits all different kinds of families.

I find myself abandoning my cutting and turning my attention to the teacher as she reads. It went pretty much like this;

Some families have a Mommy and a Daddy. Some have only a Mommy or only a Daddy. Some families have step-parents and step-siblings.

And because I'm a dork, when she got to the next part?

Some families have two Mommies, and some have two Daddies.

I teared up.

I teared the fuck right up.

Because I know a boy in the class who has two Mommies. And not one kid on that rug thought anything of it. Not a hand raised to question, not a snicker or a giggle. A family is a family is a family. Love is love is love.

I know that this is a very small part of what Tuesday's decision means.

But in that classroom, surrounded by those kids who get to grow up with that understanding of love, I felt so stupidly hopeful.

And if things had taken a different turn on Tuesday?

I'd have been crying for a different reason.


  1. Absolutely the best post-election write-up. Ever. Love this! Kids just seem to 'get it' and if we do our jobs correctly, they will grow up to be big people who see the big picture.

    Thanks for this.

  2. Right there with you. I was up until 2am (minus the alcohol) watching and texting my BFF the entire time. Then I was up at 5 because my damn body clock hasn't adjusted to the damn time change, and Heather on 3 hours of sleep is U-G-L-Y. But still, it was a happy kind of headachy exhaustion.

    That sounds suspiciously like Todd Parr's The Family Book, which my kid received as a birthday gift when she was 4 from one of her friends who has two mommies (and I'm proud as a New Yorker to say they were able to legally marry here last year, too). That used to be one of her favorite books, and is still one of mine. And you're right - how awesome is it that our kids are able to grow up with that understanding of love and family.

    Hope you got some sleep last night - I was out cold by 9pm and didn't crack an eyelid until 5. Damn time change...

  3. And here in Missouri, I'm so glad that Todd Akin lost to Claire McCaskill. Todd thinks that 'if it is a legitimate rape then the female body has a way to shut everything down'. AND PEOPLE STILL VOTED FOR HIM!!!

  4. I love this. Family is family and love is love.

  5. I love this. Family is family and love is love.

  6. Yes.

    A home for a child is a home for a child.

    And people who are home to each other, should be able to be that home to each other.


    (LOVE your new header)

  7. That's beautiful, Tulpen -- I love that the youngest among us can grow up with full acceptance, provided we can keep bigotry from their lives.

    And I can only imagine my "dear god, make the evil lights stop buzzing" hangovers. I actually have cut back on my drinking, significantly, but I can't think of the thought of a room full of kids, my kids' age without wanting to chug a bottle of wine. A big bottle of wine.

  8. Oh, it's always so good to hear from you -- this was as dear as anything you've written. Happy, happy day --

  9. Kids are so open, so accepting, so honest.
    And can I just say that the kids voting booth is way too cool!

  10. Two kids in my very small classroom population have two mommies.

    And our state just passed the law that their parents can now be legally married. Tuesday was SUCH an amazing night in so many ways.

  11. Family is and always will be family. Can't imagine being hangover with little ones either hehehehe

  12. i am so relieved that he won. SO RELIEVED. it is more than a little terrifying that half of the country feels differently.

  13. The day after the elections in 2008, I was training for a marathon (because I'm a dumbass) and cried the entire run.

    (Because I was happy.)

    I always tear the fuck right up when love wins.

  14. So glad my boyfriend is in for another four years.

  15. I hope you-all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  16. Love this!!! My daughter has an aunt engaged to who will soon be (but already is in her eyes) another aunt, that means so very much to us, too. Hope you're doing well. I hope to be blogging again soon, probably under a different name. We're moving and our lives have been in total and complete upheaval.
    (formerly, Sassafrassery)


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