Monday, November 3, 2008

Conversations With a Six Year Old

On the way to take my little Princess to her first grade class today we had an interesting conversation. I mentioned that tomorrow was election day. She asked what that meant. I reminded her of the day she went with me to vote and we voted for a woman named Hillary Clinton to run for President. She said
"Oh yes I remember that!"
 I explained that was and election where we narrowed the choices down. Hillary didn't win that one but that was ok. Now tomorrow we decide if John McCain or Barack Obama will be President. She says from her booster seat in the back,
"Well I want Barack Obama to win because John McCain is dumb!"
 Now I figured she got that explaination from the ex's house. Here is more of the conversation:
Me: "Well I agree."
Princess: "You do?"
Me: "Yes I am going to vote for Barack Obama."
Princess: "Oh. Well that's what Julie at school said. But I like Barack Obama too."
Me: "Good. I don't think you need to say it quite like Julie said it if it comes up at school ok? However, I do like Julie even more now.:
Princess: "Why?"
Me: "Well that means she probably heard that from her parents and they are probably voting for him then."
Princess: "Oh"
Me: "Do you want to come with me and vote tomorrow for Barack Obama?"
Princess: "YES! Kids voted online for President and Barack Obama won. I didn't get to vote but I would have voted for him so I'll go with you tomorrow."
Me: "I saw Barack Obama on TV thanking the kids for voting for him! Ok cool. I'm so excited it feels like my birthday or something. Mom Mom and I are going to go work all day tomorrow at the election because it's so important and we are so excited."
Princess: "Oh. Why are you so excited?"
Me: "Because this is the first time there is and African-American that could be President. It's a big day. Plus there are some laws we have to vote on and one we really don't want to happen."
Princess: "Oh. What's an African-American?"
Me: "It's a person with black skin - like John in your class."
Princess: "Oh ok I get it."
Me: "It's a big deal because for a long time African-Americans couldn't do things like vote or own a house. People wouldn't be nice to them just because their skin was black. Pretty dumb huh?"
Princess: "Yeah that is dumb."
Me: "It would be like not playing with someone or being friends with someone because they had freckles or were in a wheelchair. We don't choose our friends because of how they look we choose them based on how they treat others and if they are good people right?"
Princess: "Yes, I play with people all the time that don't look like me. One even has a freckle on her forhead."
Me: Laughing "Exactly we don't care if someone is a little different than us as long as they are kind and make good choices then they are ok to be friends with. So that's why this is a big deal tomorrow and I just can't wait."
Princess: "Me too Mommy!"
It had never occured to me that she didn't know what African-American meant. We have friends that are African-American and she has had classmates since pre-school. I was also kind of proud that she hadn't learned people had labels and I was kind of sad that I had ruined that and put a label on people for her.

When we got to her line and were waiting for the teacher a bunch of moms were talking about going to the polls tomorrow and how to work their schedules. I spoke right up and said,
"Oh we are going before school and she can be late for all I care. Tomorrow is too important and she will be right there with me when I cast my vote."
The moms looked at me with renewed enthusiasm. They started thinking that getting up and getting there at 6 am was not a bad thing if that is what it was going to take.

Oh and one last thing - Remember, I live in Arizona. We are going to turn this state BLUE!


  1. That's awesome!!
    It reminds me of when Shayna was that age...when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she replied: "Dark like C." (Her best friend at the time, who is African American).

  2. Wow, daughter, just found this and read it. What a super conversation Mommy & daughter had yesterday. Now you need to chat with her about the voting they did at school today! As I'm writing this they just announced Obama the winner for the Presidency. Now showing at the Obama Headquarters where you and your partner are right now. Love from Mom

  3. I know this is an old post but I'm new so I'm backtracking.

    I have a 6 yr old Princess too! And we have similar conversations. In fact, I posted about one last week. Its the one about a 6 yr old NPR fan.