It is a rare day when I don’t have anything to say.
I’ve been silent the past two as I skipped and snuggled with my kiddos, who were out of school for elections. Today, they’re off to Israel with their dad for a week amid tears and excitement – the anticipation is always harder than the reality.
Yesterday, we shot each other in laser tag and I wondered what lesson I was teaching them – fun, yes, and breathless excitement, but let’s shoot each other?
We are thrilled with the election outcome. In fact, this morning, I purchased plane tickets for the Inauguration and will likely cover it for a media outlet as well as here on Nourish Cafe. But I’m still teaching my kids perspective and context.
Asher made some derogatory comment about the one who didn’t win this morning, and I said, “No, it was a close race and both had something significant to offer.”
I’ve told them how I got teary at the polls because so many people in the world don’t have the freedom to choose who leads them. The kids didn’t understand how a country would be run otherwise, and I had to explain that where there are no elections, there is tyranny and militant control and force and death. “Like the Nazis,” they said. “Or Communism.”
It’s all about context and perspective. Everything is.
Last night, my little guy had a roiling stomach, his too-young reaction to stress and anxiety. Part election anticipation, part leaving Mommy for a week to go halfway around the world. “Whatever the outcome of the election,” I told him, “it is all good.”
They have “mitzvah money” with them – a dollar each to give to someone who needs it in Israel and a dollar each to give to someone who needs it when they return to America – because the superstition goes that if you are on your way to do a “mitzvah,” or good deed, nothing bad can happen.
We tell ourselves stories to live. We ride those conflict, crisis and conclusion points as if our lives depended on them but really, they’re just stories. This whole election season, we’ve ridden the roller coaster of my guy – no your guy – no my guy – and in the end, we are still one country, indivisible, I hope, under a broadly waving flag.