On our way out of the post office yesterday, we passed a guy who asked if my voter registration was current. It is, so I said so. (Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if he can do that on USPS property–they have some tight guidelines about who can solicit what–but that’s another story.)

Hey, this is an opportunity. Social Studies!

pH: You can vote.

qH: Yes. I started when I was 18.

pH: Adults vote, then?

qH: Yes…But a lot of them can but don’t. (Belatedly realizes this is a teachable moment.) Although there was a time when women couldn’t vote, and people who were other colors than white couldn’t vote,* and people who didn’t own a certain amount of property couldn’t vote.

pH: Why?

qH: The people in charge didn’t want to share power.

There was a long pause. We get in the car, and I put it in reverse.

pH: But what about banks?

[I swear to the FSM, we’ve never discussed Citizens United or lobbying or financial bailouts to her. We don’t even talk much about banks in general; we refer to the X account or the Y account, but not the bank itself.]

qH: Um…well, they have other ways of influencing elections. We’ll talk about that at a different time.


*Race is not on her radar yet. She grew up going to a racially diverse daycare (for this city) and has had friends who are all colors. She doesn’t get “white,” because duh, her mom isn’t white, she’s pink. (She self-identifies as “mostly white-ish, but with some freckles, but not as many as Mom. And Mom is pinker.”)  Someday there will be harder conversations, but for now we like the fact she just believes in one human race which happens to have different shades within it. Even if it puts me on the red-pink spectrum…it’s fine. I’m pretty left leaning.