With the exception of a few low points during my pregnancy when I let Sam watch four or five 15-minute segments of Curious George, Sam has never even seen a television, let alone watched one. But I made a brief exception this morning for the DNC and Hillary Clinton's speech, which I had recorded from last night.
Even though I was not a Clinton supporter, I still thought it was important to for Sam to see what she can achieve some day. So, while Alan slept, Sam and I cuddled on the downstairs couch, watching Hillary Clinton hit the ball out of the park with her fire-filled speech supporting Obama.
Sam and I clapped together, she laughed at the "taos" (stars) that kept coming on the screen and she danced to the music in the Hillary Clinton video. Good times. I am not supporting brainwashing or forcing my kid to believe something she is too young to understand. On the other hand, I want her to appreciate politics and her country and all the opportunities available to her. I want her to be smart and not apathetic since I believe the apathy in this country is what is slowly killing us.
And while I was sitting on the couch appreciating the moment with my sweet toddler and thinking about how important this election is and how much it means to both her and Alan's future, I was struck by a sense of the generational importance this moment had.
My own parents were extremely politically active and some of my favorite childhood memories were of yelling at the TV during the McNeill-Lehrer news hour, of attending campaign speeches and holding signs for Dukakis and Mondale. Was it brainwashing or passion sharing? I am really not sure. But, at any rate, it made me the kind of person who does not believe political discussions are taboo, who believes that (despite so much evidence to the contrary) not all Americans are apathetic, poorly educated yahoos and who believes once again that her party can rock the house and reclaim this country.
This is the most important election of my lifetime and I am so thrilled to share it with my daughter and son. I regret so much that they were born in this time under a man who is arguably the most disasterous president in our country's history. But I am hopeful that we will win in November and we will start to get back on track so that the toddler who sat next to me watching the DNC and clapping her little hands will actually have a future.