I don’t know how I’m going to survive the election, I really don’t. Like most people, I have very strong feelings about the candidates and the strong feelings render me incapable of saying nearly anything nice about the GOP. Except “nice ties!” but that’s only when I’m feeling charitable and am in polite company. Generally I focus on their complete disdain for women and the middle class and the nonstop lies that pour out of the campaign. The lie about Obama causing the recession is my particular favorite.
I wonder about the effect it’s having on my kids.
My son is 11 and couldn’t care less about politics. Unless and until Barack Obama and Mitt Romney pick up a baseball (oh, and they will, give it time) they are not on his radar. But my 14-year-old is different. She reads the New York Times every morning (well, at least every morning that a friend isn’t sleeping over) and she is very interested in the election. Last election, I took them with me to vote, so it’s important to me that they are aware of the process, that they grow up to be active voters, regardless of who they choose to vote for.
Yes, I did actually just type “regardless of who they choose to vote for” but I’m not sure I really mean it. Because I’m just not sure how I would feel if one of my kids were to support the GOP.
I’m not fooling myself, not really. I know that as parents we shape and contribute to our children’s thinking but I also know that we provide an environment against which they push off, rebel and choose their own path. It’s normal and it’s natural. I know a woman who grew up with chain-smoking parents and rather than pick up the habit, she became an marathoner who does not smoke. I know vegetarian parents who raised a carnivore that I am not entirely comfortable leaving alone with my cat. And I grew up in a Ronald Reagan household.
I’d like to think that my political views are more than a rebellion against my parents, but I can’t be sure that that’s not where they took root.
And so I worry — what if the same thing happens with my kids? What if my ardent distaste of the GOP drives them into the arms of the Tea Party?
Of course I would still love them, that goes without saying. But would I like their choices? Would I respect those choices? Those are harder questions for me. In a way, I need not answer them, because if they choose to vote for the unthinkable, we will join the many families that avoid the topic of politics and roll our respective eyes at each other’s Facebook postings.
It would sting.
Maybe I should put up a few Mitt Romney portraits around the house, just in case?
Photo source: Wiki
For more of Marinka, visit her personal blog Motherhood in NYC and The Mouthy Housewives, where she doles out advice as though it were candy. Mmm … candy. Also, follow her on Twitter, where she never refers to herself in the third person, but does have a potty mouth. Sorry!
More on Kid Scoop: