Today, I was a negligent parent. My children were playing happily with their friends and for the first time ever, I didn’t take them along when I went to vote. I feel appropriately guilty at not including them in such an important civic responsibility, but I balance that guilt with pride in my oldest, who is spending the entire day working at a polling place. Yes, Aspie caveman is one of the brave volunteers who spend their day listening to a little bit of everything and responding only with smiles and comments about the weather. That is remarkable for more reasons than need to be listed.
Standing in line for my turn at a machine, I smiled at waved very subtly at my baby who is a full head taller than me. His cheeks turned slightly pink as he grinned sheepishly and he returned the wave. Then, I motioned for him to look away from me and toward the machines where a voter was trying to get assistance. My son waved at me again and gave me a confused look because he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t quit waving. I put my hand on my hip, looked at him with my serious face and pointed at the machines. He spun and raced to confused voter. I waited to be excused from the building for acting silly, but the only response from the other volunteers was muffled giggles.
So, if you haven’t voted yet, do me a favor and smile at the volunteers. They are all someone’s child, sibling, spouse or parent and they need to feel appreciated too. You should probably skip the waving and camera phone pictures though. That tends to get them flustered.