Friday, October 17, 2008

let's vote

yesterday, taher and i voted at our City Hall. we found that there was an opportunity to vote early, and so we did. it was especially satisfying to vote the morning after watching the Debates.

truly, this election is historical for all the reasons touted by the media and the bloggers and the analysts. with words like the Environment and the Economy swirling around, this election will be determining the future of the country- the very Fate of the country. with words like Woman and Black and Muslim and Change thrown into the mix, there is no denying that this election is the first of its kind, perhaps in a long time- perhaps ever.

yet for me, this election is historical for yet another reason- maybe the most important reason. the last election saw a lot of apathy on the part of young people. most didn't vote. most didn't watch the debates. most didn't know much about either candidate's platform. this time around, MTV doesn't need to constantly air commercials telling the youth the importance of voting. this time around, people are doing research about the candidates, instead of relying on tidy summaries on easy-to-find websites. this time around, a lack of opinion is hard to find, much less apathy.

this election is restoring the spirit that should infuse every presidential election. youth doesn't just have an interest- the youth is invested. even my 6-year-old niece has an opinion (it's her parents' opinion, true, but it shows what the conversations are in american households this time around.) i hope dearly that this sets the stage for a new attitude on the part of american youth- those who are not 18 will, i hope, be eagerly awaiting their chance to vote four years from now. those who can vote will do so proudly.

i look forward to yusuf growing up wanting to vote, waiting to vote. i voted yesterday and although it's something almost everyone i know can and will do, i am still proud of my contribution. it felt... good.



watching yusuf learn to be himself, i think about his history- about the people who laid the groundwork for him to be here.

his four grandparents moved here almost four decades ago, leaving one of the world's oldest civilizations to make a home in one of the newest. their lives changed in ways i cannot imagine, and they became used to a completely different existence.

maybe, in our own ways, yusuf and i have been on similar journeys. i have come to inhabit a space called motherhood, which is surprising and foreign and a world apart from where i lived before. yet i've found my place within it, made it my home. yusuf's journey, though, trumps all, i think. every single day, i feel, is a different world from the day before. he has yet to find a stopping point where he can just be. rather things are always moving and changing around him, and when he finally gets his bearings, things change again.

yet he seems to be taking it all in stride. yes, there are new things to explore. new words to learn. toys and people and books and field trips and lights and music and errands and food- so much newness that it's clear he is programmed to handle it better than any habit-bound adult ever could.

he inspires me not to rest on the achievements i already attribute to myself, not to congratulate myself too heartily for the difficult things that i accomplish. yusuf accomplishes something every single day, and, determined and curious, he moves ever forward.

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