Winning Election Day

Our 6-year-old and I went and stood in line to vote.
“Are we voting for the president of the United States?” my son asked.
Yes, I told him. We are, but we have to vote again in the fall before we know who the next president will be.
“Of the whole United States?” he said.
Yes, the whole United States.
You have to admit. That is pretty amazing. Then I tried to explain how lucky we are.

Not everyone gets to vote for their leaders, I said. Voting doesn’t mean the person we vote for wins. But it means we get to stand up and say who we think should be picked. That’s not true everywhere in the world, but it’s true here in the United States of America.

Who knows whether that made sense to our kindergartener?
But what I’m hoping he’ll remember is that today was special. Smiling volunteers greeted us at every turn, sent us to different lines to still more smiling people who pointed us to a high desk where we could color in our circles and make our decisions.
I have to admit that today I didn’t have any passion for the candidates. And the one I voted for didn’t win—at least not in our state. No surprise there. My candidates rarely win.
But as we walked out to the car, I was happy and proud that I voted. And I was even happier that I took our little boy with me.
Because, in the end, deciding to take him was a more important decision than picking that name on the ballot.

So let’s just call that a win.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.