Yay North Carolina with your badass primary today. Go on wit’ ya bad self.
Zoe and Lucy and I went to vote before school this morning, and they enthusiastically helped me push the touch-screen buttons on my electronic ballot. I would say “touch the box next to Person ABC” and they would do it, clearly delighting in their power. I saved the president choice for last, just to savor it a little — the first presidential primary in my long NC history to actually matter, and matter a lot, at that. Plus, although I knew who I was going to vote for, I was still struggling, even at that 11th hour, with the conflict that comes from wishing things were different from what they actually were. I was excited about my choice, but I was still wishing that I was equally excited about the other candidate.
Finally I asked Zoe to touch the square next to Obama’s name. She did it, but she turned to me and said, loudly, “Mama, why are you voting for Barack Obama? Why aren’t you voting for Hillary Clinton?”
Quietly, I explained that I had decided to vote for Obama and that I would explain why after we left. As if I needed reminding that I had only just jumped down off the fence.
“But Mama,” Lucy chimed in, same volume as Zoe. “We want to vote for Hillary. Can’t we vote for Hillary and Obama?”
People turned toward us and smiled the smile. You know the one — the smile that says “I envy the innocence and outspokenness and conviction of a five-year-old.” Or maybe it says “Your kids are voicing the inner turmoil I feel too.”
Oh, or probably it was just because they could imagine how I felt standing there in the middle of Midwood Baptist Church while my private ballot was read aloud for all the world to hear.