Nine-year-old Katie pulled all the tissue out of a new box of Kleenex and turned it into a ballot box. She carefully wrote Obama and Romney on many slips of paper, and instructed each member of the family to vote.
Katie: “Annie Rose, we are voting by secret ballot! Pick either Obama or Romney and drop it in the tissue box.”
Five-year-old Annie Rose voted with conviction.
Katie: “Who did you vote for?”
Me: “Katie, it is a secret ballot. You can’t ask her that.”
Katie, now to baby Cleo: “Cleo, pick either Obama or Romney, and drop it in the box.”
Two-year-old Cleo pointed to one of the slips of paper. Katie looked at it, read the name, and said, “No, Cleo, you picked the wrong guy. Pick this one instead.”
Me: “Katie, it is a secret ballot. You can’t change her vote.”
She put Cleo’s original piece of paper in the tissue box and told me it was my turn.
Katie: “Who did you vote for? There is still time to change your mind if you picked the wrong guy.”
And that’s how we roll in our family.
It is currently 8:51 pm CST. Katie is sitting here with a piece of paper that has a U.S. map drawn on it, and she is coloring states red or blue as they are called. She is brimming with excitement. I LOVE that my third-grade girl is growing up with the knowledge and the certainty that she WILL vote (but her understanding of secret ballot needs a little work).