A day of work, a first high school football game, gymnastics and homework. That was the easiest part of the day. I had the news on while I whipped together a fast (and I mean fast) meal for my tribe of five. I was telling the kids how important the conventions are to our country and how I believe every American needs to watch both of them and then decide who to vote for on Election Day. They all sat listening to my lecture on American politics and our responsibility as Americans. We talk about politics a lot in our house — they kids have attended an Inauguration in Washington DC , they have campaigned for local candidates and national candidates and we talk a lot at the dinner table about what is happening in the world.
Tonight was a bit different. Our middle child asked me the hardest question of the day … “are we Republican or Episcopalian?” Seriously?!?! Haven’t you been listening to us the past 10 years?!?! “We are both Republicans and Episcopalians, but I want you to decide what you will be when you become an adult.” (That is me trying to be a really balanced Mom — even though I cringe at the thought of them not being Republicans and Episcopalians :).. … Now the conversation begins. “Why?” … “Yeah, why?”… “Yeah, Mom, why?!?!” .
This same question from each of them made me really stop and think about why I am Republican and why I am Episcopalian. I know I stumbled on my answer at first — not prepared for this debate I was about to have. I was proud of them for challenging something so important and I was happy that they are thinking about two topics that I care so deeply about. I went through the basic differences in the two parties and the unique aspects of the Episcopal faith. They listened — they asked more questions – they each discussed what they believe in even at their young ages. A pretty awesome dinner conversation.
I would challenge everyone to think about what you would tell 5 young minds if you were asked the same questions. Why are you a Democrat or a Republican? Why did you choose the faith you chose? Now, try to explain your answer as if you were answering 5 little minds.
I hope and pray I answered their questions in a way that made sense to them and I hope it will continue to keep them interested in politics and faith. I finished our conversation and realized I was teaching 5 children who had come out of current and former Communist countries. My greatest hope — that all five realize how truly blessed they are to be Americans and to have the right to choose their party and their faith. It’s pretty amazing if you think about it.
Give those questions a try … let me know how it goes!