Sara Whitman

On Election Day

Filed By Sara Whitman | September 15, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Election Day, Massachusetts

As I am way too often required to do, I was sitting filling out forms yesterday. Of course, the after school program that Jake goes to had me because today was his first day and if I didn't fill them out by 12:30pm? No after school.happy ballot box

I was there at 12:10pm furiously filling them out.

After school is essential for anyone who works. Elementary School lets out at 3pm, and on Tuesdays? 12:30pm here in Newton. The program Jake goes to is in the school itself and it makes life a whole lot easier.

Poor Kindergarten parents go from full time day care to three half days a week, two full days, but not until October. It's a nightmare. Just when you think someone else is finally in charge of your kid- for free as it's a public school- the reality hones in and you gotta make more plans than you ever imagined. I know. I was working while Jake was in kindergarten.

I was also incredibly lucky to work at a very flexible workplace.

As I sat and filled out my forms, the staff were talking about what to do with the kids today. How about we do something about voting, one twenty something woman said- no, she's new and I do not know her name. Staff at these programs shift so quickly, it's hard to keep up. They are paid almost nothing and given the greatest responsibility- our kids.

That's another rant, not today.

Voting? another twentyish staff member said.

It's a voting day, that's why we don't have the gym, said the head of the program.

Confused looks. I said, because I cannot help myself, It's the primaries. We are electing who runs against each other in November. Only in Massachusetts, it's sometimes the election because there are not many Republicans here.

It's an important day. Not every state has the same kind of bias towards a single party. Can't complain if you don't vote.

A moment passed. I could tell they were a little embarrassed and a little scared of this big dyke filling out her forms.

Finally, the first woman said, Let's have the kids vote on something.

I don't know... said the second, will they even understand?

Um, I said, my son does. He can't help but know because I work in politics. But I think you'd be surprised... these kids have pretty active parents.

I know! Pizza or Spaghetti!

What are their favorite TV shows?

Maybe they could vote on...

And the energy was there.

I doubt any of the staff voted. The kids did but Jake cannot remember what they voted on because he was more interested in hanging with his pal.

Just remember- you can't bitch if you don't vote.

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With civics lessons cut from most school systems any more, small acts like yours, Sara, will prove even more important.