Jim and I (and sleeping spectator Henry) just returned from voting. I was both glad and disappointed to arrive at our voting location and not find a line of people wrapped around the building. At 3 pm, we should surely be in higher numbers than voter 330 if this is to be the rocking of the vote that has been widely publicized.
I carried Henry up to the booth with my paper ballot and put his car carrier on the floor next to me. I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion and teared up a bit. This is an important election. Our country is facing some scary crossroads economically, and we could use a new guy to help us make friends around the world. Come January, our country will have either a Black president or a woman vice president. It wasn't all that long ago that those demographics couldn't even vote. And now here I was with my son beside me, casting my vote.
I darkened THE circle thinking "you'd better do a good job" over and over again.
I have been cynical about presidential elections since, well, you know (Florida, Supreme Court, Al Gore...).
I have been cynical about the candidates since well, forever, and that was cemented when the story about John Edwards was proven true.
But I've never been cynical about the power of one person and one vote - yes, even in the electoral college set up we've got going on. My opinion matters. Your opinion matters. My dad's opinion (though, due to it's stark contrast to mine is wrong- kidding) matters. And I love that today there are people waiting in line for hours to darken a circle or touch a spot on a screen, or punch a card to translate their opinions, their hopes for the country, their dreams as individuals and families.
I fervently hope that this election will have a clear winner by the time the sun comes up (heck, it would be nice if there was a declaration at Henry's 3 am feeding). And I, of course have even stronger hopes that the winner will be the name next to the circle I darkened.
In weeks, the mourning will be less painful for those who didn't win, the celebrations for winners will be less loud. America will be able to take a breath of fresh air, unpolluted by the division and nonproductive negative commercials and pundit-speak.
And in January, we'll all start anew.