How many of you are wondering why I am showing a picture of a gentleman’s feet at the voting booth? Or better yet, what do feet have to do with an election? It is okay to scratch your head and wonder how I am going to tie the title and the picture together.
Those feet belong to my son who turned eighteen in October. He is voting for the first time. But just not any election, but one that will make history for our nation whether we elect the first African American president or first woman vice president. Either way, it is historic. And he was part of that decision.
It was important to my husband and me that “Son” registered to vote and became a responsible American. We talked about the election at the dinner table many a night listening to what my children had learned at school. In the end, he formed his own opinion and decided to vote for one of the candidates. I don’t want to share who he decided to vote for since this article is not a political debate or discussion.
The day of the election, I took him from his last period class which was study hall to vote. The polls were not busy in the middle of the day.
With every first from walking, riding a bike, to his first soccer game, I have been there with a camera. This day was no different. It signified his responsibilities as an adult and as an American. I told the pollsters that it was his first time voting. They seemed really unimpressed, nor gave him words of praise for coming out to vote at such a young age. (I don’t recall voting at 18 or remember when I did vote the first time. )
I took a picture of him signing his name which came out slightly blurry since my flash would not work. Then I took one of him entering the voting booth. People were looking at me as if I had a screw loose. They obviously did not get the importance of a young man voting for the first time. At one point, I saw one of the women volunteers roll her eyes. How jaded we have become. It wasn’t like I was holding up the line since only a few people were there and there were four booths.
A couple came in and were signing in and stopped to watch me take the pictures. The woman gave me a funny look as if to say “what is the big deal” but the husband was more upbeat about it, thinking it was great.
Son was so cute walking into the polling booth not knowing what to do or who to hand his ticket too. I never prepared him for what he would see. I guess in high school, they don’t see what a voting booth looks like. I forgot to show him the mock voting booth slip you get in the mail so you know what to expect when you get to the voting booth.
He basically voted for the a presidential candidate and a few other choices. He told me he did not know about any of the other candidates running for the senate, sheriff, etc. and was not comfortable voting for any of them. I am ashamed to say I did not know much about some of the candidates and just voted the party line.
I was a proud mama today. Big old peacock, you could say. You know the slogan take your daughters to vote. Well, I took my adult son to vote! I sent the pictures of him at the polling booth to my immediate family since I was so proud of him wanting to vote.
What made me sad though? Eighteen years has flown by like a snap of the finger. He will be heading off to college next year, and I can’t stop the clock.
It was only yesterday, he ate peas for the first time, said his first words, and lost his first tooth. Or cried countless of times when things did not go his way or other children had hurt his feelings, and I was helpless to make his world safe. Sharing in moments when he was so proud of himself for doing a job well done or playing the best he could in a sport game. This all was yesterday.
Each year has been full of soccer games, plays, birthday parties, and endless school events. One year seems to merge into the next. And over the years, we have added to our family so each child (especially him) seemed to get a little less attention since the younger ones needed more.
Since he is the oldest, he became a parent to his younger siblings and he has been invaluable to me. He is the piped piper and the others follow. We talk endlessly about what is going on in his world and I am glad he feels comfortable to tell me about his life. I am sure I am only hearing the tip of the iceberg since no child tells their parents everything.