Today I Gave: My vote.
I struggled with this all day long, whether the process of me voting was really an act of giving or whether I was kind of copping out today. Obviously I came out on the side that it counts as a gift, and here's why:
- Up until yesterday, I wasn't planning to vote. I hadn't researched the candidates and I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish today while both kids were in school. I thought about the time it would take to research the ballot and realized that my time is a gift in and of itself.
- If you were running in the election and you knew you got my vote, you'd say thank you, right? And you say thank you when someone gives you something, right? Therefore my vote is a gift. (I can reason my way through just about anything.)
- It's been said in many different ways by people far more eloquent than me, but much was sacrificed by women before me so that I could choose whether or not I would find the time and put forth the effort to vote. As much as I want to have a voice in the government around me, I also want to pay my respects to that sacrifice.
I always take the kids with me when I vote. For the most part, they've been oblivious. I don't have an agenda, I just want them to see that voting is important. I don't make a big deal about who I'm choosing, other than to say that I learn what makes the candidates different and vote for the person I think will do the best job. Okay, maybe I made a big deal once.
I don't know if they were just tired from being at school, if they still have 8 bazillion grams of sugar coursing through their veins, or if they're just at an age where this wasn't my best idea but . . .
Good golly, were they a pain in the ass at the voting precinct. Fighting over who gets to play Angry Birds on my phone while waiting to sign in. Thinking a couple of rounds of 3,2,1: Wrestle! were just what the other voters ordered. Squabbling over who would get to press the buttons in the voting booth (It's against the law! I hissed.) Trying to keep Eli's hands from randomly punching buttons, voting willy-nilly for whoever he could reach. Ordering Elena to please step away from the booth before she knocks the entire contraption over, but for the love of God get away from that other guy in the booth next to us.
I do not think this is what the Suffragettes had in mind.
But I voted. That's got to count for something.
Today I Received: A smile. I literally got handed a coupon from Elena that said "Give Somebody a Smile." Apparently they gave out coupon books in Sunday School to encourage the kids to participate in the 29 Gifts Campaign as well. So at 6:45 a.m. I got a coupon, a big ol' toothy grin, and a prompt request for some salami on a bagel.