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June 09, 2010

Sharing her first time

8487517 When she was just six years old, she came to me and solemnly announced her intention to run for President of the United States. When I asked her when so I would be certain to vote for her, she told me that she would run when she was 20. It was then I had to explain the constitutional law on the minimum age for the office of President. After careful consideration that took all of twenty seconds, she declared that she would run for President when she was 40 years old in 2032. So there it was decided. 

When she was just seven years old, she secretly wrote to the current President as well as the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates for the upcoming election asking them for advice on not only how to achieve her goal but whether or not she should run for office using her given name. She received an answer from only President Clinton who agreed that her resume qualified her to aspire to the office. He advised her to continue to serve her community and do well in her studies and also suggested that "Zoë" would be the perfect first name for a candidate like her running for office.

The next year she faithfully followed the election. She quizzed her parents on their choices in the Primary elections and she tuned in, without fail, every Sunday morning to all the political round table discussions. For her, the 2000 Presidential election had all the promise and excitement that a little girl with big political dreams could ever imagine. She read through all the election material her parents received as though they were sacred scriptures and often engaged us in thoughtful discussions after the Presidential debates. The night of the election she begged me to allow her to stay up and watch the results. Of course we all know how that all played out back in 2000. For our daughter, at the tender age of 8, it was devastating. Every day she stressed and worried and fretted over the fact that we had no President-elect. As the drama of the hanging and dimpled chads in Florida played out for weeks, she, like many of us came to realize that our votes do indeed count.

Ten years later and at last she now has a voice in the process. Although it was a Primary election with limited and rather frustrating choices, she took this election as seriously as she did back in 2000. She poured over the election material that stuffed our mailbox as well as the general election guide sent to our home. She was the only one who patiently would take Meg Whitman's robo-calls and listen to them entirety. Never mind that she wasn't even a member of the same party, to my daughter it was important to review all material presented because it would ultimately help her make the right decision come November.

Finally the day came. Early Tuesday morning,before she was to head off to work, she got up dressed and declared that she was ready when I was to head to the polls. How exciting it was to walk with her to the polling place in our neighborhood.knowing that for the very first time she was able to exercise her right to vote. This was a day she dreamed of just ten years prior and, at last, it was here. This isn't the first time that I walked to the polls with one of my children who was voting for the first time. It certainly won't be the last time. Still it remains for me an exciting time as I witness my own child be the change and the voice (no matter how small) that they imagine we need.

This is a 50-something Moms Blog original post. Laura Scarborough writes about her juggling adventures with her circus act over at Adventures In Juggling that includes her darling daughter, Zoë, who will NOT be running for President in 2032 but does intend to pursue her dreams that include making her voice heard through, among other thing, voting.