talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Talking about the election

Over breakfast today, Ian and I were talking to Fiona and Nora about yesterday's presidential election. We started by showing them pictures of Obama and his family, and told them the ages of Malia and Sasha. We told them that a Mom, a Dad, two young girls, and a new puppy were going to be in the White House. We discussed the historic significance of an African American president, and showed them photos of all the presidents who have come before.

It took a little explaining to describe to our young children that the color of Obama's skin was a part of what made yesterday night's results so momentous, though it's about much more than that. Fiona has friends and teachers who aren't the same color as herself, and we could she was struggling to see what the big deal was about.

But she was interested-- interested enough that we went to the library today to pick up some books about the presidency, the White House, kids in the White House, and books about Abraham Lincoln, the Civil Rights movement, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr-- as well as more books about poetic forms to be able to talk some things over, then find some new ways to express our thoughts.

Even as I wiped off the kitchen table to get ready to dig into them this morning, Fiona and Nora planted themselves on the floor and Fiona read My Beak Your Beak and Being a Good Citizen. After their little afternoon break we're headed outside to enjoy this lovely day and we'll investigate some more of them.

This election has been such an intense, historic experience; and was made even more so because of our children. I don't agree with everything President Obama has to say-- even now, as a president-elect. I have some religious quandaries and environmental concerns. And in general, I don't rely on government to make my life good/better/OK/livable, no matter who the president may be. Nonetheless, I am comforted by the fact that an African American in the White House, a man with family near the ages of our own children, will be the norm for our kids. Large numbers of people of many skin colors voting for Obama doesn't eliminate racism in our culture. But it's a start.


Post a Comment

<< Home