And Then It Rained

“What time are we voting?” She asks, pulling me away from my moment’s Important Matters. Dirty dishes. Chocolate milk. Pumpkin waffles.

I pause, silverware in hand, lean against the counter, taking in her morning look.

Loose, almond curls framing soft eyes, spaghetti straps -that so recently replaced printed pajamas- fallen onto one shoulder, and set mouth.

I know that set, it matches my own.

I grieve the picture I had already painted.

I’d drop everyone off at school and quietly vote, my fingers wrapped around a Pumpkin Spice Latte because I hold onto fall with a frightening grip until the first thick, white, stick-to-the-ground snowfall of the year.

But of course they’d want to come.

I brought them with me to vote when that meant pushing a clunky stroller that I needed help getting through heavy doors. Carrying snacks and dropping sippy cups and holding sticky fingers.

When I look across the counter at my HeartStaircase, I finally put down the silverware. The metal clang bouncing between the counter and their breakfast and my mirrors.

And while I pictured voting with their smaller versions, I zoomed into their big words.

I get to vote for president as soon as I turn 18. Oh, that smile is wide.

She’s so lucky! And that pout, is equally powerful.

Because while Jason and I don’t hope to own their friendships or their loves or even their religion, there are some things that we do “preach.”

Their stances on social issues, the way they treat others, the side of history they land on.

Each of these is knitted and woven and braided to the other, and they’re what we hold in the palm of our hearts, splaying to them gently, but fiercely.

So today, the four of us huddled in a plastic booth meant for one.

Kayli’s hair against my arm, Brody on my hip (barely fitting there), and Chloe reminding me to be careful with my circles.

And when we stepped outside, beneath the gray, drizzling sky, they opened their mouths to catch only the raindrops, the fresh, the clean, the Good.

I walked behind them, Hoping for only the same, as we made our way toward that Pumpkin Spice Latte and m&m cookies, of course.

  • I’m ridiculously proud of a post I wrote for Kveller. It’s about the feeling, rather than the routine, behind religion. It would mean the world to me to see you there.
  • Memories Captured with Alison of Writing, Wishing starts this Sunday, November 11th at midnight. Won’t you join us? Find out more here.
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Comments

  1. Oh Galit. You’re such a good mom. These kids are so so lucky to have you, and you them. You get to share each other’s excitement and passion over loving people. That’s really really great.

    xo

  2. I love you.

  3. Sharing those experiences with them – from the clunky stroller to the three of them hand-in-hand – so very special. (The holding hand photo is beautiful.) And catching rain drops made me smile – my boys love to do that, too.

  4. I took Ben in with me but he didn’t actually see me vote. He wanted to see how it all worked and said he cannot wait until he can vote. Slow your roll little dude! ;)

    Love that you all had a great time going to vote together. Wonderful photos!

  5. You’re amazing. As are your children.
    Love you. xo

  6. I see you have great time together)) The very idea of family voting is super sweet)) Raising conscious citizens. Really nice

  7. You did a wonderful thing! I regret that I voted during the day, while my 3rd grader was in school. He’s right at that age where he’s old enough to really learn and begin to understand what all this is about, and he’s been learning about the process at school. Taking him with me would have really rounded out the process. Oh well. It’s never too late, eh? I myself came to this very late. It is not too late.

  8. You brought tears to my eyes, because yes. I brought my son with me this year, carrying his toddler weight of 33 pounds and juggling a juice cup and a falling hat and mittens. But he was oh so proud to vote. Like you, I want him to grow into himself, but I also want him to know the importance of using our voices, of choosing leaders that believe in the rights of all people, and most of all, I want him to know that kindness and love for others matters. Really matters.

    And the pumpkin spice latte afterwards? Looks like perfection.
    xoxo

  9. Oh yes!! What a beautifully written post as always Galit! We go to the polls as a family every year. It’s so important for us to teach our children about honoring our freedom of choice in this country!! I want my kids to see the process and be IN the process, so they grow to know they have a place in it…and carry on the responsiblity that freedom brings.

  10. Thank you for raising good citizens! :) I hope I can do this one day too – when I become a citizen and can actually vote! I’ve been a “Permanent Resident” forever!

  11. Good parenting Exhibit A! This is so important. At our house voting is not an optional activity. If polls are open, we are going! We too have “preached” it for our kids’ whole lives. And yesterday for the very first time ever all five of us voted. Pride and joy came in stronger waves than the panic of sheez….they can all vote…..how old am I?!?!?!?!

  12. I voted early and by mail, which I loved at the time. But your post made me think about how much I missed that feeling of the voting booth – especially when crammed in it with three little ones.

    On a much less important note, I went to Starbucks yesterday and the holiday drinks had already replaced the fall ones on the menu board. I begged the barista for a salted caramel mocha and she consented. Phew. :)

  13. Such beautiful words and images. You are leading through example and a powerful one at that. We are raising the next generation of voting citizens – isn’t it amazing?

  14. You go momma!

  15. Good for you to take them. This year I voted early — a few weeks ago — while they were at school. I’ve taken them before in off election years. Come to think of it. I remember going into the voting booth with my dad. I had to have been quite young. It was a large walk in one where you pulled the curtain behind you. I’ll have to concentrate on that memory and see if I can piece together more. And we have a perfect pumpkin spic latte day going on here today. :)

  16. I didn’t bring my kids, but I wish I had. And last night when the results were called I so wanted to wake them up and share them the good news. Maybe next time. :-)

  17. JDaniel and I voted. He wanted a different candidate than I did. He wanted the “I Just Voted” sticker too. I wanted him to see the importance of getting out to vote.

  18. So wonderfully written! We were lucky when we went, and we sat on the carpeted stairs leading to the stage (our precinct used to be an elementary school, long ago). Keeping D in a booth wasn’t working :(

  19. I took my kids with me on Tuesday – but I would not let them into the voting booth with me! I did not want them announcing to the world who I was voting for – for fear of starting a riot. :)
    It has been hostile around here with the elections. I guess that means I need to teach my kids to exercise their right to vote AND respect the political opinions of others. Your writing is gorgeous, as always.

  20. Good for you, Galit!! I’m so jealous of this, as I dropped the kids off at school and then went to vote without my huge crowd of kids ;)
    xo

  21. Awesome as per usual. I took only my middle to vote. He tried to stay awake to see the outcome that night. He fell asleep in my arms on the couch before the winner was announced. First question the next morning and my answer was met with tears. Real life, 7yr old tears. He’s an awesome kid.

  22. So beautiful, Galit! I feel as if I’m right there with you and your precious little ones, heading to the voting booth! I live in Oregon where we have vote by mail for everyone. We’ve had this for so many years that I never once was able to vote in a voting booth! While it is extremely convenient (I think I voted while having a glass of wine after the kiddos were in bed), it lacks the excitement of election day voting in a booth.

    You are such a beautiful writer and images come to life with your words. Thanks for a smile to start off my day!

  23. I didn’t take my kids with me to vote, although I always did when they were little.
    Always.

    This year, however, their middle and high schools held their own mock elections in which my kids voluntarily participated.

    They get it.
    And yours also do, will, always.

    Voting is a precious right we have, no matter the outcome of the elections.

    Although this time, I must admit, my kids and I are thrilled with the results.
    And the lattes don’t suck, either.

  24. First of all, I read on Vikki’s blog about LTYM. So that’s why you guys had lunch. So happy and proud – what a team! I’m working my way down to Tracy too on my overdue blog friends. :-)

    Second of all, I agree with you. I will not control my kids’ religion (maybe their friendships a shade if it’s really out of control and the friend can’t be reached by love) or politics – but I want them to be decent.

    Off to visit your post on religion.

  25. Never take voting for granted, ever. There are far to many people in the world who don’t have a choice.

  26. I just adore you and how you guide your children. The words, the pictures. Beautifully entwined!

  27. I took my girls with me as well and we talked in line the whole time. It was a great moment to share with them. I can’t believe that in 8 years Ash will be voting beside me. Makes my heart swell!

  28. I love that you gave them this moment…your heart is enormous. xoxo

  29. What a great moment! Thanks for sharing it with US.

  30. I am so glad Twitter brought me here to read your post.
    This election has landed strongly in my family.
    And your writing here, your grip on pumpkin days and your cherishing the passage of time are so good.

    Thank you for writing.
    Here is a link to what I wrote about the election.
    With love, Suzi

    http://laundrylinedivine.com/4905/fired-up-ready-to-go-first-family-my-family/

  31. How great that you brought your kids to vote! It is so important and so wonderful that they are learning early!

  32. I like that you’re teaching your little ones the power and privelege of voting. It’s a wonderful thing to be excited about for your 18th birthday. :)

  33. I loved both posts!! What you wrote is beautiful!

  34. What a ridiculously wonderful-fantastic thing to do. I did not get to vote for the presidency while my kids were young, b/c we were in a US territory. But they are very into now as teens, and I’m so happy aobut that.

  35. I really love how you are sharing these lessons with your children. We took our kids to vote with us and were excited to be part of the process with us, although I had to keep reminding my 5 year old J not to yell out who I was voting for! They really got into the whole election this year. J called all our family members and took and impromptu poll on their presidential picks and he and his brother had a full on debate in the bathtub over who to vote for – Obama or Romney.

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