Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's all ok... right?

I started to wonder last night whether or not my dad's belief about living in this great country was adopted to calm his children. We turned on the news around 8 PM and watched John McCain's speech and my boys started to get a little upset. They began to repeat things they had heard people say about how now terrorists were going to be allowed to take over the country and one of them demanded, "How can we elect a person who doesn't even have a birth certificate?" So then i gave them the, "Aren't we blessed to live in a land where the outcome of an election doesn't start a war?" that my dad gave me.

At first, i attributed their worry to having ridden to the football game last Saturday with a couple of right-wing coaches who have no children of their own (so they don't worry how their conversation affects young children), but then i remembered that they have heard even members of our extended family rant about some pretty radical stuff.

And perhaps (shudder) i have something to do with it. I mean, his friend was in the car with him and he was also at our house last night and he wasn't upset at all. Of course, you have to account for William being a more serious kid than most 15 year olds. Okay, though. Have i entertained the idea that perhaps Barack Obama is not exactly who he says he is? Yes. Have i expressed that to my children? Probably in not so many words. Maybe my calm, rational explanations are more harmful than Grandma's ranting about terrorism and conspiracy.

Do our children have the right to (or should we afford them the luxury of) growing up with a feeling of relative security? Should we tell them that all is well? Do they really need to be worried about how the country is being run? Don't they need to focus on their schoolwork? Shouldn't we let them be kids? Or at least be a little carefree? Will there come a day when all is not well and they will need to know it? To be emotionally prepared?

Children are concrete thinkers. When we say things like, "The economy is going to pot! My retirement fund is not going to be worth anything!" or "I'm going to have to take out a loan to fill my gas tank." They think, "We aren't going to have enough money for food this week." Okay, maybe not all kids think that. When i was a kid, i heard my parents talking about some of their financial struggles and when life went on as usual, i figured that those kinds of problems weren't really all that important. My impression of my big brother was that he just took my parents' issues way too seriously (or took too much responsibility for them). But maybe i had my head in the sand thinking that their issues wouldn't have any effect on me. Or maybe i understood on some level that they also had made many good financial moves and those were not so readily "discussed."

Anyway, i think i'm going to adopt my niece's philosophy on the subject of the presidency. Can i quote you, Claire? "I will try my best to show him the respect that I think was lacking for President Bush over the past 8 years because he is now going to be our President. Not necessarily by agreeing with him on probably anything, but by not calling him stupid for one." We still both agree that we might have to call socialism socialism when we see it. I blame that less on Obama, though and more on ourselves. Socialism is what we want and socialism is what we are going to get. Maybe just sooner than later.

Oops. Can this entry duck under the cover of not being so controversial in the future? :)


Carolfrog said...

You do know that he does have a birth certificate, right?

Monika said...

My kids have said a few funny things the past few days . . . A 12 year old sitter told my kids while I was away today that Obama is going to take our flag down. I tried to explain to them there are rules in place to protect us -- Jade was quick to remind me he is the one who is going to make the rules! I think this does effect our kids more than we realize!

quiltgirl said...

i don't even care about the birth certificate. i'm not even sure why that is a rule. my point was just what Monika said that it effects our kids more than we realize and we need to be careful how we voice our concerns. that's all. i shoulduh just said that.

Buzz Carter said...

The birth certificate is a non-issue, brought forth by desperate people trying to push forward a mediocre choice.

I am more concerned with things like my first grade daughter coming home from school upset because a classmate told her she was GLAD Obama won. I didn't even know who was president until I was at least in fourth grade. WHat have I done to my daughter?

Lorinda said...

here's what i've started wondering... and no, i'm not throwing all my beliefs out the window, but what if i'm the one that's wrong? I mean, what if (gasp!) the liberals are right on and i'm the one that's way off? It's something to think about. the thing that has got me thinking this way is not because I don't believe in freedom of choice and personal responsibility, but there are people in my life who share my religious beliefs and who i admire and respect as caring, intelligent people who are (gasp! gasp!) democrats. They aren't idiots... and really, it's like i said, the politicians are not really to blame. The people are demanding it. I think John McCain and many others like him (Orrin Hatch, for one) have just decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Perhaps they have found it's the best way to make a difference. i mean, besides actually being one of them.

The Miller Millers said...

It is amazing to me how much the children actually do pay attention. Shawn and Mckay both burst into tears when they heard that Obama won. I was shocked! They both thought that we were going to be taken over and made slaves. I definately have not ever given them this impression, so I thought they got it from school. when I asked them where they got it from they BOTH said, from listening to him themselves in the Debates. It was actually a really sweet moment (which made us late for school) to be able to talk about the same principles you have said here... basicly that he is our president, and we need to respect him. Also that Heavenly Father is STILL in charge no matter what, we can have faith and confidence in that. And that he created the United States of America so that we can have religious freedom, and he will protect us... and know that as long as they continue to follow the prophet, and are prepared, they do not need to fear. I think you are absolutely right, it is our fault that we are slowly becoming a socialist country, it is what everyone wants, and has forgotten why we have not wanted that in the past. Sorry this comment has turned out to be a blog post, but I applaud your boldness in expressing your thoughts. (that's what blogs are for right!?)