Long Lines and Casual Comments


This morning Carina and I took the twins with us to vote. We arrived around 7:40 AM, and there were already at least a hundred people sitting in the auditorium with the voting stations. Thank goodness we had the opportunity to sit and wait comfortably – my mom had to stand in line for almost three hours. We rolled out just about nine, and I took the kids to school. No “monitors” from either party were present at the poll questioning voter registrations. I was morbidly hoping there would’ve been some confrontation, but I’m really glad we had such a smooth (if protracted) experience. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of tension and conflict throughout the country today.

Tonight I hope to take the girls back to do their own voting. It seems that polls are open for children to participate in a faux election process, so they can get first-hand experience casting a vote. If the lines are anything like they were this morning, though, I don’t know that we’ll actually get to do this.

After voting and a quick stop at Tim Horton’s, I dropped the kids off at school and signed them in at the office. As I left the office, I walked into a procession of first graders walking down the hall. Right next to me as I walked was Jonah, a little boy who attends latchkey with the twins after school, and with whom I occasionally play when I pick up the girls. He’s a funny little guy, with a vibrant sense of humor and a lot of energy. Recently, while goofing around on the playground with him as I waited for the twins to wrap up whatever it was they were doing, I joked to Jonah that when I get angry I turn into the Incredible Hulk. Jonah thought this was a fascinating idea, and desperately wanted to anger me to find out if I was telling the truth. I forgot about this little joke the moment I drove home.

I should know, by now, never to make jokes with any children ever again.

As I walked down the hall next to Jonah this morning, he looked up at me and asked, with a wry grin that really left me wondering whether he was serious or not, “Are you really the Hulk?” I did a double-take as I tried to figure out what the heck he was talking about. When I finally remembered, I smiled down at him and told him the truth. “No, Jonah, I was just being silly.” He smiled and walked down the stairs ahead of me.

I love being silly with kids; but I never know who will remember what. Several times I’ve said or done things at latchkey with the other kids, and never gave it a second thought; only to have two or three kids pester me about that very same thing some days (or weeks!) later.

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